Apple’s Latest Litigation Litany Round 4: Apple Tries to Block the Galaxy


Apple has fired its latest missile in its “thermonuclear war” against Android, filing in a U.S. District Court to add the Galaxy S III to its existing complaint against the Galaxy Nexus. After hearing the opposing sides present their arguments yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh presented Apple with a difficult choice. Either Apple could keep the July 30 trial date for its case against Samsung, or seek a temporary restraining order against the Galaxy S III, which would “likely bump” the trial date.

“I just don’t have the human bandwidth”
In what is sure to become the next great Internet meme, Judge Koh declared, “I just don’t have the human bandwidth” to accommodate the ever-growing list of demands made by both sides in the case. “I wanted to give some notice that I cannot be [just] an Apple v. Samsung judge,” she said, pointing out that she has other cases on her plate. For this reason, should Apple choose to pursue a temporary restraining order to block Galaxy S III sales in the United States prior to its launch, the company risks having its trial date pushed back.

The option of a temporary restraining order was offered by Koh because even if Apple managed to prove that the Galaxy S III was similar enough to the Galaxy Nexus to warrant it being added to its injunction request, it is unlikely that an injunction would be granted in time to prevent the U.S. launch of the new device.

“Substantial, immediate, and irreparable harm”
Apple attorney Josh Krevitt claimed that, as the “most widely pre- ordered gadget in history,” the Galaxy S III would cause “substantial, immediate and irreparable harm” if it was allowed to go on sale in the United States. Considering that Apple sold 55 million iPhones in 2011 alone for a 19% share of the smartphone market, it seems rather unlikely that Apple would suffer such extensive trauma from the release of the Galaxy S III in the United States.

Krevitt also said the choice presented by Koh is unfair, because Samsung constantly releases new generations of its products before the courts in each of the affected countries can even decide if the devices in the original complaints infringe on Apple’s patents. Considering that Samsung releases only one generation of its flagship Galaxy S series each year, just as Apple releases only one generation of its popular iPhone each year, this argument also seems rather hollow.

Where’s the Fire?
Samsung attorney William Price countered Apple’s arguments, claiming there is no “established emergency” necessitated by the release of the Galaxy S III. Apple’s legal posturing is, in fact, an attempt to “prevent a phone from getting to the public that is better than Apple’s in many, many respects,” according to Price.

A Treasure Trove of Soundbites


“Is this like pornography-we know it when we see it, but we can’t define it?” – asking Apple attorney Josh Krevitt to describe in what way Samsung violates Apple patents

“I just don’t have the human bandwidth” – expressing frustration with the ever-growing list of demands made by both sides

“I cannot be an Apple v. Samsung judge” – reminding both parties that she has other cases on her docket


- U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh

Other Memorable Quotes

  • “The S III is not more than colorably different from the Galaxy Nexus” – Apple, in a pretrial motion document
  • “Once sales are made, the harm is irreparable” – Apple attorney Josh Krevitt
  • The Samsung Galaxy S III is the “most widely pre- ordered gadget in history” – Krevitt
  • “There is no advertising or marketing on these features at all” – Samsung attorney William Price, commenting that Apple doesn’t advertise features that Samsung allegedly copied, such as slide-to-unlock and autocorrect in texting
  • Apple is trying to “prevent a phone from getting to the public that is better than Apple’s in many, many respects” – Price

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