It was Ronald Reagan who once dismissively addressed arguments with the words, “There you go again.” In response to Apple’s renewed request for an injunction banning the sale of more than 20 different Samsung smartphones and tablets, I imagine Samsung lawyers are saying the same.
The devices in question, most of which have been discontinued, were ruled to infringe on certain Apple-held patents in 2012. Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the case in California district court, initially rejected the company’s request for a permanent sales ban on the offending Samsung smartphones and tablets, but a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to allow an appeal has prompted a reconsideration of the proposed injunction.
Apple’s chances for victory, however Pyrrhic, are good. The Court of Appeals determined the company need only show “some” connection between infringement and product demand to prove harm to profits, rather than rely on actual device sale numbers as before. That differentiation will prove more important in Spring, when Samsung and Apple face off over Samsung’s alleged infringement in newer devices. Still, it’s tough not to wonder whether the hundreds of millions of dollars Apple has spent on this case alone have really paid off.