When Verizon and T-Mobile filed amicus curiae briefs in favor of Samsung in the company's ongoing patent litigation against Apple in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, we cheered inside a little. It's always nice to see Android and its handset partners have friends in high places.
However, the question of how the court would respond to these briefs remained - as the decision is an entirely discretionary one. Yesterday, the judge hearing the case accepted both Verizon and T-Mobile's briefs, in full, into consideration regarding Apple's proposed preliminary injunction which would seek to ban the import of certain Samsung Android handsets.
Apple, in response to both briefs, requested leave to reply to oppose consideration of the briefs in an attempt to convince the judge that neither would be helpful or provide insight into deciding the case. The Honorable Lucy H. Koh's response? The court doesn't want to hear it. Koh flatly denied Apple's request even to be heard regarding Verizon or T-Mobile's briefs.
Apple will, of course, include arguments regarding public policy which will probably serve to refute Verizon and T-Mobile's points in its reply to Samsung's opposition to Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction (yes, this is getting confusing).
What's next? Samsung and Apple will submit their final filings, Samsung's opposition and Apple's reply thereto. Koh's decision on the injunction will follow, of course, on October 13th. While it's impossible to know whether the court will actually take Verizon and T-Mobile's briefs positively, the fact that they've been accepted does mean that the judge considers the input of both parties to be valuable in determining whether there would be harm to the public interest in granting the proposed injunction.
We'll be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this preliminary injunction motion over the next couple of weeks.