December 18, 2012 - U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request for an injunction on Samsung smartphones, in part because such a ban would be harmful to the public interest and also because the devices contain much more than the infringing features.
"Though the phones do contain infringing features, they contain a far greater number of non-infringing features to which consumers would no longer have access if this Court were to issue an injunction," wrote Judge Koh. "The public interest does not support removing phones from the market when the infringing components constitute such limited parts of complex, multi-featured products."
Even if Samsung's claim that it found a way to work around Apple's patents turns out to be false, the devices in question incorporate technology covered by hundreds of other patents besides Apple's.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple," the judge wrote, "it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion for infringing Apple's patents in 26 Samsung products, three of which are still available for sale in the U.S. Apple called the $1.05 billion award a "slap on the wrist" and seeks an additional $100 million, but Judge Koh has hinted that she might decrease the existing award to correct some faulty calculations made by the jury.