Samsung Electronics suffered another setback in its patent feud with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) after a U.S. judge said a U.S. ban on Samsung's GalaxyTab 10.1 would go into effect.
Samsung had sought to block the ban from taking effect while it appealed the original ruling, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh declined to stay her June 26 ruling on the tablet. Koh has also granted a U.S. injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which Samsung has appealed as well.
"As Samsung itself concedes, the injunction will cause Samsung minimal harm because it has other tablet products on the market," Koh wrote in her order Monday. "In contrast, a stay would further irreparably harm Apple. In light of these findings, the balancing of equities favors Apple."
Apple has been trying to get injunctions that bar Samsung products from being sold or imported in the United States ahead of its trial with Samsung. Pre-trial injunctions are rarely granted, which make Apple's wins and Samsung's losses all the more notable. The trial is set for July 30, with Koh presiding over it.
Samsung said it was disappointed with the ruling and said Koh's order failed to take into account new evidence showing that the patent Apple claimed Samsung was infringing upon was invalid. "We believe today's ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the United States," Samsung said.
Practically, the ban is likely to have little effect on Samsung's sales or earnings, since it has been able to design around the infringements after a similar result in Germany. Samsung's sales are also likely to be bolstered by its new flagship Galaxy S III smartphone, though Apple is also seeking a preliminary injunction against that model.
The two companies, which are the top smartphone vendors in the world, have been locked in a worldwide patent battle since last year. Apple first sued Samsung in April 2011, claiming that Samsung "slavishly" copied its iPhone design. Samsung countersued and since then the patent battle between the companies has spread to multiple continents, generating dozens of cases in 10 countries.
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
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