By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Apple Computer Corp. has been waging a global patent war over its iPad and iPhone, suing (and getting sued by) fellow tech companies over competing tablets and smartphones.
Now, Apple has notched a victory in one case.
The Galaxy Tab is a distant second to the iPad in the tablet market, but one version of Samsung’s slate is now off the market.
A California judge ordered sales stopped, saying Samsung “does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products.”
The preliminary injunction affects only the 10.1 model (shown), which came out last summer. Samsung has a new version out now, the Tab 10.1 II, which the judge said can still be sold. The judge also was allowing retailers to sell off their existing stock of the old 10.1.
Meanwhile, the judge has ordered Apple to put up a $2.6-million bond in case the injunction is later found to be wrong.
The patent in question involves the design of the device, which the court calls “virtually indistinguishable” from the iPad. Samsung calls it “such a generic design patent” that it could restrict industry innovation if Apple keeps making such legal claims.
The court battle is part of Apple’s fight against Android, the world’s best-selling mobile platform. Apple also is pushing to get the Samsung Galaxy S III and some other smartphones yanked from retail shelves.