Judge lifts US ban on sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1A US-based sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet handed down just over three months ago was lifted by a US court on Monday, as the ding-dong battle between the Korean tech giant and rival Apple continues.

Responding to the decision, Samsung said in a statement, “We are pleased with the court’s action today, which vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple’s design patent and that an injunction was not called for.”

The ban had been imposed before August’s high-profile trial that saw Apple score a decisive victory over Samsung, with many of its patent-violation accusations relating to a number of Samsung smartphones and tablets accepted by the jury.

However, the patent which Apple accused Samsung of violating with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (patent 889 relating to the iPad’s design, specifically, “clean front, edge-to-edge glass, thin bezel, thin outer border, and rounded corners”), which prompted the decision to impose the temporary sales ban three months ago, was not violated by Samsung, according to the jury in the August trial. As a result, Samsung asked for the ban to be lifted.

Despite US district court judge Lucy Koh allowing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to go back on sale in the US, things could still get sticky for Samsung and its tablet. Although the jury in the August trial ruled that the design patent had not been violated, it did rule that a number of other patents belonging to Apple had been violated by the Galaxy Tab. A US court hearing on December 6 is set to rule on which of Samsung’s mobile gadgets should be banned from sale based on the jury’s findings back in August – so yes, the tablet could be among them.

August’s multi-billion-dollar patent battle saw Apple accusing Samsung of ripping off the design of its iPhone and iPad devices in the making of a number of its own smartphones and tablets. Apple won big, with Samsung ordered to pay just over $1 billion in damages for patent infringement.

But the dust has far from settled. Last week it was reported that Apple had filed a motion asking for an additional $707 million on top of its already massive award. Meanwhile, Samsung is asking for a new trial, alleging juror misconduct during August’s proceedings.

As for the Galaxy Tab, with all the fuss in recent months over new, more portable, cheaper tablets from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Barnes & Noble – not forgetting a possible new contender hitting the market next month – is anyone even interested in the Galaxy Tab anymore? Are you thinking of buying one?

[via Reuters]

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