In what is a massive blow for Korean electronics giant Samsung, US district judge Lucy Koh ruled in Apple’s favor late Tuesday when she issued a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US.
The ruling is the latest episode in a long running patent dispute between the Korean company and Apple. The Cupertino company first filed patent-related lawsuits against Samsung in April last year, claiming Samsung had “slavishly” copied various aspects of the iPhone and iPad in its design of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet.
In her ruling, Koh wrote: “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.”
She continued, “In this case, although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is greater.” No date for a full trial has been set.
According to Reuters, Koh said the order would only become effective once the Cupertino company posts a $2.6 million bond “to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong.”
Courts around the world are no stranger to Samsung and Apple’s patent-related battles, with some 10 countries so far having played host to their ongoing entanglement. Apple appears to have the edge in the ongoing dispute, with temporary injunctions against sales of Samsung’s tablet handed down in both Germany and Australia.
There appeared to be signs of a breakthrough last month when the CEOs of both tech giants agreed to meet face to face in a bid to find a solution to the issue. However, the talks proved fruitless, leaving Samsung and Apple with little choice but to continue their battle in the courts.