Apple is once again seeking a sales ban on over 20 different Samsung smartphones and tablets that were found to violate its patents last year. Though such a ban was initially rejected, last month Apple was given another chance to argue for one when an appellate court vacated the earlier ruling. Apple filed its renewed request for a permanent injunction yesterday, arguing that Samsung's ability to sell the infringing devices puts a potential burden on its smaller lineup of smartphones and tablets. Though Samsung has ceased selling all of the devices in question — such as the Galaxy Tab and AT&T's Galaxy S II — Apple argues that a ban is still important for preventing Samsung from selling them again in the future.
This time around, Apple will have a better chance at winning the injunction too. Though Apple won't be able to argue for a sales ban on the grounds of design patent infringement, it will have a lower bar to reach when arguing for an injunction over utility patents. Apple will now only have to show that Samsung's use of a patent it infringed on led to some demand for a device, rather than actually driving the device's sales as it did before. With none of the products currently on sale from Samsung — or particularly likely to go back on sale as they grow more outdated — the ruling likely won't have an immediate impact on consumers either way. But come this spring, when Apple and Samsung begin a second patent infringement trial, expect to see this new standard pop up again.