Remember how Apple tried to obtain a preliminary injunction against Samsung to stop them from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and some phones) from being sold in the U.S.? If you’ll recall, Samsung won that battle as the district court denied Apple’s request, questioning the validity of a couple of Apple’s patents. The court couldn’t see how Apple would be “irreparably harmed” if Samsung were to continue selling its products.
Apple, of course, appealed that decision. And it looks like the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has granted Apple another chance at getting that injunction. Three of the four patents in dispute were upheld by the CAFC, but they found fault with the lower court’s ruling that Apple’s tablet design patent was potentially invalid.
Basically, the lower court said that Apple’s tablet design patent was probably invalid due to the fact that there were two other tablet designs created long before Apple patented the iPad’s design, making the iPad’s design “obvious”. The CAFC, however, found that one of those old designs had significant differences, which was enough to render Apple’s patent “non-obvious” in the higher court’s opinion.
So the higher court found that the lower court “construed the claimed design too broadly” and remanded the case so that the lower court could reconsider its decision. In other words, they were forced into a “do over”. This helps Apple, but they still have to persuade the judge that they will be irreparably harmed if Samsung continues to sell its products… something that might be hard to prove considering how successful the iPad is.