Yesterday, the US Court of Appeals overturned a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone. It appeared as though the device was destined to be lost in history and that Apple had this battle won. However, with the ruling overturned, Samsung is now free to sell the device again. In response, Samsung has issued a statement on its official blog on the matter.
Samsung welcomes this reversal by the Federal Circuut as yesterday’s decision confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products.
In looking at the statement, it appears very generic and politically correct. That being said, Samsung most certainly voiced its opinion on the way patents are handled. Samsung is just as quick to file a patent lawsuit as its competitors. In fact, we only need look at how quickly Samsung filed suit against Apple for the iPhone 5 to see evidence that they are quick to file for patent litigation as well.
Bickering and patent wars aside, this ruling is a win for the consumer, who will now be able to purchase a great piece of hardware that was arbitrarily not available to them. These lawsuits and product bans really only hurt the consumer, and that is a problem. Of course, companies need to protect their intelectual property if it comes under legitimate attack, but many of these patent suits are just blatant attempts to create an unfair competitive environment.
In the end, this is a victory for Samsung, but probably not the one they are really looking for. That $1 billion judgment in favor of Apple is still hanging around out there. I am quite sure we will see Samsung pull every appeal in books to try and get that decision overturned, and we will keep your posted with the latest on that and other patent lawsuits and battles as they happen.