The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted Samsung’s latest motion for an immediate, temporary stay of Apple’s injunction against the Galaxy Nexus.
The temporary stay only covers now through the time when the Federal Circuit will decide on Samsung’s motion to stay the ban on a more permanent basis. According to Florian Mueller on FOSSPatents today, Apple has until July 12th to respond to the motion. The court will then decide on the possibility and duration of a stay for the entire length of the appeal process. This could lead to a yo-yo effect, as each side responds in their own timeline and the Court puts any stay in force, or disables it, as they did today.
Even with Google’s announced software workaround (still not rolled out to any devices that we know of), a stay of sales was hurting Samsung’s bottom line. The current lift of the sales ban should feel pretty good, but it can only help if it stays the way it is now for a longer period of time than, say, the weekend.
As Mueller notes, Samsung has failed five previous appeals to hold off the Apple injunction, making this current win the odd man out. It’s hard to know just what, exactly, caused the Court to make this decision in light of the Samsung record. Somehow, Samsung convinced the Court that there could be serious harm to its business via Apple’s proposed injunction, and the Court must see some merit to the claims.
It’s not a clear loss for Apple, here, either, as such a quick turnaround can also easily be changed, just as quickly. Mueller predicts out that Apple might just point to Google’s announcement of a software patch as some sort of proof that – with an easily applied software patch – the harm Samsung is claiming might not be as truly hurtful as Samsung suggests. In other words, this may just be a temporary skirmish.
Now Samsung can legally sell any Nexus units currently in the US, but with a quick change to the Court’s decision, who knows how much they’ll be able to move. All Apple needs to do is file a response before next Thursday – Mueller says earlier is in Apple’s best interest – and if the Court agrees, it could put the sales ban back into effect.
Of course, if the patent infringement injunction is found to not have merit later in the process, all this maneuvering will be a moot point, and Apple could be liable for business and sales damages, to be paid to Samsung.
As always, we’ll stay tuned and keep you informed on this quickly evolving story.