Fri, Sep 21, 2012 - Page 15 News List

US judge refuses to lift ban on sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

A judge has refused to lift a ban on US sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computers as legal brawling continued between the South Korean electronics titan and Apple.

US District Court Judge Lucy Koh canceled a Thursday hearing at which Samsung and Apple were to duel over a ban put in place before the start of a trial that ended with a huge victory for the California company.

A jury declared on Aug. 24 that Samsung should pay Apple US$1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features.

Apple has reportedly requested a hearing before Koh to argue that the amount should be tripled as allowed by law since jurors found Samsung “willfully” infringed on patents.

However, the jury agreed that Samsung did not abuse design patents that were the grounds for a temporary ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 device imports that Koh put in place at Apple’s behest in June.

Koh wrote in her ruling that she would grant Samsung’s request if she could, but that she no longer has authority to make the call since the company appealed to a higher court to have the ban overturned.

“The sole basis for the June 26 preliminary injunction no longer exists,” Koh said in a written decision. “The court at this time would dissolve the June 26 preliminary injunction if the court had jurisdiction.”

She also noted that the jury verdict in her San Jose, California, courtroom did not represent a “final ruling” in the case since it was being appealed.

Apple won more than US$1 billion in a massive US court victory over Samsung on Aug. 24, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades — a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.

Samsung reacted by saying the verdict was “a loss” for consumers and that Apple had “manipulated” the patent system.

The South Korean firm also said the verdict was “not the final word” in this case or other similar battles around the world.

The decision appeared to be an overwhelming victory for Apple, but it was not immediately clear whether it would halt sales of Samsung devices or affect newer models released since the case was filed.

The jury decided the case with over 700 separate claims in less than three days of deliberations.

The verdict affects a range of Samsung products including some of its popular Galaxy smartphones and its Galaxy tablet — devices alleged to have been copied from the iPhone and iPad.

Samsung had steadfastly denied the charges by Apple, claiming it developed its devices independently. It unsuccessfully argued that Apple infringed on its wireless patents.

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