|By Maureen O'Gara||
|October 12, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
A testy Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Thursday overturned the preliminary injunction that Apple briefly got in late July on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone before the same appeals court stayed it.
It sent the injunction back to the lower court saying it had "abused its discretion" in granting the ban in the first place.
To confuse things that lower court belongs to Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the trial that led to a jury finding Samsung guilty of infringement and awarding Apple $1.05 billion in damages.
But the Galaxy Nexus injunction has nothing to do with that case. It's part of another suit Apple lodged in February that's not gonna get heard until March of 2014.
The Galaxy Nexus, created in cooperation with Google, has already been replaced as Samsung's flagship smartphone by the Galaxy S III, which is burning up the marketplace. Apple has already added the S III to the February suit, but by the time it's heard Samsung will have something else out that threatens Apple. Short of settlement there's really no catching up.
Apple was hoping to add the S III to the Galaxy Nexus ban if the appeals court upheld it. As it is, the appeals court dashed Apple's arguments and claims of irreparable harm.
The Samsung Quick Search Box Apple alleges infringes one of its patents is really an Android problem and Google isn't party to the suit, the appeals court found. It also threw out Apple's claim that the Galaxy Nexus treads on the unified search patent in Siri. Apple failed to convince the appeals court of a "causal nexus" directly tying consumer demand for the phone to its allegedly infringing features.
The patents Apple is using in its February suit are different from the ones it used in its winning suit.
Samsung also got out from under the ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 a couple of weeks ago.
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