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Apple’s Samsung Ban Bid Rejected By US Court

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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A US District Court has refused to grant a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s smartphone and tablets

Apple has suffered a new blow in its worldwide crusade against Samsung after its bid to prohibit the sale of Galaxy phones and tablets in the US was rejected.

Apple sued Samsung in April, filing a lawsuit in the US District Court of Northern California alleging that Samsung’s products and tablets too closely resembled Apple’s iPhone and iPad. It then expanded this lawsuit in June to cover the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet.

Turning Tide?

It wanted the court in San Jose to grant a preliminary junction against Samsung, but District Judge Lucy Koh denied the request.

She admitted that although it is likely that Apple would be able to prove that Samsung infringed on one of its patents, it had not shown that it was likely to defeat Samsung’s challenges to the patent’s validity. Apple must demonstrate both to succeed in its lawsuit.

“It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung’s accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed,” ruled Koh.

Apple has launched numerous lawsuits against Samsung around the world, accusing it of copying the designs of its devices and infringing on patents such as those covering touch-sensitive panels and software patents for the GUI.

In August, it succeeded in gaining a preliminary junction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, forcing Samsung to withdraw the device from sale in all countries except the Netherlands.

In September, a German court went one step further, permanently banning the tablet from sale in the country, prompting Samsung to announce plans to release a modified version of the device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N in an effort to circumvent the ban.

A similar injunction  granted in Australia was overturned last week, but was subsequently extended for another week in order for Apple to launch a final high court appeal.

Apple has pursued other Android manufacturers such as HTC and Motorola in its battle against the operating system, which late CEO Steve Jobs viewed as a “stolen product.”