Although Apple has claimed victory over Samsung in one its longest patent legal battles, it is not getting everything it wants. US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has just denied Apple's motion seeking for a permanent injunction against 23 infringing Samsung devices.
One chapter of the legal saga between Samsung and Apple finally came to a close when the jury awarded Apple the final fraction of the damages that the Korean manufacturer will be required to pay for infringing on Apple's patents. That, however, wasn't enough for Apple who sought to have 20 of the infringing smartphones banned from sales in the US. This was despite the fact that none of these were being officially sold in the market anymore.
While it might seem strange, Apple's motion is strategic. A permanent injunction can be used as a legal precedent that Apple can then brandish on future devices as well and not just the 20 it was targeting outright. The court saw through the tactics and denied the motion. According to Judge Koh, a patent holder cannot use a patent as competitive leverage beyond the value of the patent itself. Apple just can't seek a permanent injunction for things that cant be covered by payment for damages.
That loss might not have much impact on Apple in the long run, especially since Samsung and Apple will be back in court again at the end of the month over another batch of patents. However, Apple might be a bit worried that the court stated that public interest favored Samsung, leading to the denial of the motion for a permanent injunction.