Apple-Samsung smartphone ban courtroom showdown scheduled for Aug. 9

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has scheduled a major confrontation between Apple and Samsung for August 9 regarding potential sales injunctions.

Apple illustration of Samsung phones pre- and post-iPhone. | Source: Apple trial brief

The date has been set because of an effort by Apple to bar sales of some Samsung smartphones on the grounds of patent infringement. Though Apple won its initial patent infringement claim against Samsung in a jury trial last year, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused to award Apple an injunction against Samsung smartphones, prompting the iPhone maker's appeal.

The August court date will be the most important event in Apple v. Samsung since last summer's jury trial, intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents said this week. He said the hearing could even prove to be more important, because Apple's victory last year may prove meaningless if the company is unable to see any action taken against Samsung for its infringement.

Last year, Koh refused to grant Apple's initial request for injunction against Samsung because the infringed patents applied to only a "small fraction" of the features available on the phones in question. The judge ruled that it would not be fair to ban entire products because of "a few narrow protected functions."

In addition to not winning an injunction, Apple has yet to collect any money from Samsung. Though the company was initially awarded $1.05 billion by a jury, 40 percent of that, or about $450 million, was vacated in March of this year.

Samsung has also been pushing back, and just last week called for a new trial on the so-called "rubber banding" patent owned by Apple related to a scrolling user interface. For its part, Apple has accused Samsung of attempting to "delay and derail" a retrial on the remaining damages in the patent infringement suit.

Samsung seeks a new jury in its retrial that it hopes will further reduce the damages it currently owes Apple. Last year's jury determined that 14 Samsung products were in violation of Apple patents, while Apple had not violated any Samsung patents.