Apple Wins Court Ruling to Stop U.S. Sales of Samsung Galaxy Tablet

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Jonathan Mak Long

Samsung, which is expected to appeal the decision, says innovation and progress "could be restricted."

Apple has won a preliminary injunction that bans sales of Samsung's touch-screen tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 after it alleged design patent infringement.

A California judge changed her stance and late Tuesday backed the iPad maker in its request to stop Samsung from selling the tablet in the U.S., Reuters reported.

The court victory is a positive for Apple, which has been waging a patent war to retain its market share lead in the fast-growing tablet space. Samsung's Galaxy products are widely seen as the company's main tablet rival. Microsoft last week unveiled its own tablet play, the Surface.

The injunction against Samsung came a week after a judge in Chicago dismissed Apple patent claims against Google's Motorola Mobility unit.

A U.S. District Judge in San Jose, Calif. originally also denied Apple's bid for an injunction against Samsung. But a federal appeals court then told her to reconsider Apple's request.

"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," judge Lucy Koh argued, according to Reuters.

Her order becomes effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond as protection against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong. The actual trial is expected to start at the end of July. The Samsung tablet was originally scheduled to go on sale this month.

Samsung is expected to appeal the court ruling. "Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design," Samsung said in a statement. "Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."


Twitter: @georgszalai