After stating that a California district court “abused its discretion,” the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has officially reversed a previously-issued sales injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Reuters reports.
This whole kerfuffle is centered on one particular patent — #8,086,604 to be specific — which deals with a pretty broadly-defined universal search mechanism. Apple originally filed for a preliminary injunction on June 29 claiming that Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich-powered handset actually infringed on four patents, but Judge Lucy Koh (who you’ll recall presided over the landmark Apple v. Samsung trial just a few months ago) eventually upheld the Cupertino company’s claims for only the search-related patent and pressed forward with the injunction due to perceived similarities to the Galaxy Nexus’ Google quick search box.
The ruling sounded like an awfully problematic one for Samsung, but the results weren’t quite as severe as they could’ve been. That same federal appeals court stepped in back in early July to grant a temporary stay on the injunction, and issued an extension of that stay one month later. The end result was that Samsung was basically able to continue selling its Nexus device uninhibited, though to be honest it probably didn’t do much to help the company out financially.
To wit: Samsung’s legal team pointed out that whatever alleged patent issue present in the Galaxy Nexus would be unlikely to cause Apple any irreparable harm because the device never turned out to be a huge seller. At the time, Samsung lead counsel John Quinn pointed out that the device in question had only sold $250 million worth of the Galaxy Nexus during its first two quarters one the market, and noted that the device only accounted for “0.5 percent of the market” at most. Apple was naturally quick to poke holes in Samsung’s argument though, claiming that the Galaxy Nexus was designed by Samsung specifically to go head-to-head with the iPhone.
In any case, this whole situation isn’t over just yet — now that the injunction has been overturned, the case returns to a lower court for reconsideration. While we wait with bated breath to see what convoluted turns this legal issue will take next, check out the full text of the appeals court’s decision (hat tip to AllThingsD for digging it up):