Apple’s thrown injunction after injunction at Samsung during the course of its drawn-out patent war. Some sales bans happened. Some didn’t. This is the story of Schrodinger’s sales ban.

Samsung asked for a rehearing on an injunction based on three patents including one regarding “quick links,” but was denied by the Federal Circuit court of appeals. Apple’s original injunction was to allow Samsung to “sunset” the features for 30 days before a sales ban on relevant products took hold. The company hastily requested that the sales ban take hold upon ruling. Northern California US District Court Judge Lucy Koh denied that request, however and granted the original injunction.

Here’s the catch: that quick links patent, very much considered by the courts to be already invalid, is on track to expire on February 1. That means that the sales ban on that front is effectively not enforceable.

Enacted sales bans based on the slide-to-unlock patent, likewise thought as good as invalid, will only affect the Admire, the Galaxy Nexus and the Stratosphere phones. Apple’s claim on the patent was limited to graphical elements and not the sliding mechanism itself.

The last patent revolves around the autocorrect feature, but it, too, will likely be ruled on by the Patent and Trademark Office as invalid. Both parties haven’t paid much importance to the patent anyway. There’s a possibility that Apple could put the gas on enforcing the injunction here, but Samsung believes it has new elements that subvert all three patents.

From a law standpoint, Apple has successfully litigated an injunction based on even the tangential or limited-scope attributes of its patents. But even if every patent were valid, with the products in question being so old, Samsung won’t see much of a tear in its pocket linings — with credit to Samsung for playing the clock out and to our legal system, because man, molasses drips faster.

The story goes on, though: Samsung’s still waiting on the Supreme Court for issues concerning other patents; also, we still need to figure out if patent invalidity means that Apple sees off its damages back to Seoul.

Source: FOSS Patents

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