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Apple wins US ban of Samsung software features, only affects obsolete products

After months of back-and-forth litigation, Apple won a US sales ban against certain Samsung software features found in infringement of three patents, though the ruling has no real bearing on either company's business.

California district court judge Lucy Koh on Monday entered a ruling granting Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung, prohibiting the Korean company from developing, selling, importing, updating or advertising software that helps infringe on Apple's patents. The decision comes eight months after a jury in the second Apple v. Samsung trial found in favor of Apple.

Judge Koh ruled that Apple will suffer irreparable harm if Samsung continues to use infringing features and sell the devices that run it. Specifically, Samsung was found to have illegally implemented Apple's '647 patent for data detectors, '721 patent for "slide-to-unlock" and '172 patent for predictive text input is software running on its Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S III, and Stratosphere devices.

As noted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the win is of little consequence to both companies, aside from being a notch on the belt of Apple's legal team. Two of the patents, Apple's '721 "slide-to-unlock" and '172 "autocorrect," are likely to be found invalid, while the '647 data detectors patent is set to expire on Feb. 1.

Apple was fighting for an injunction ruling to be put into effect immediately instead of the usual 30-day deadline, but Judge Koh rejected the request. It might be a moot point, however, as Mueller believes the '647 patent was not found infringed under the appropriate claim construction.