(By Balachander) A U.S. appeals court reversed a preliminary injunction banning the sale of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
Late July, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) a preliminary injunction that prohibited sale of Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone in the U.S.
In February 2012, Apple brought suit alleging that Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone infringes eight patents. Apple also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking to enjoin the sales of the Galaxy Nexus. "Apple will suffer and is suffering irreparable harm" due to the alleged infringement, Apple said.
The district court found that Apple's allegations with regard to three of the patents did not justify granting Apple's motion.
"Because the district court abused its discretion in entering an injunction, we reverse and remand," ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. "We hold that the district court abused its discretion in determining that Apple established a sufficient causal nexus."
Here, Apple's evidence of causal nexus is limited, the appeals court said. "Apple has presented no evidence that directly ties consumer demand for the Galaxy Nexus to its allegedly infringing feature."
In this light, the causal link between the alleged infringement and consumer demand for the Galaxy Nexus is too tenuous to support a finding of irreparable harm, the appeals court said.