A judge lifted 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 on Monday issued an order clearing the way for Samsung to renew sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets that were halted while it dueled with Apple in a high-stakes patent trial.
A jury declared on August 24 that Samsung should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades — a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.
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.
“The sole basis for the June 26 preliminary injunction no longer exists,” Koh wrote in her ruling. “The court finds it proper to dissolve the injunction.”
Koh denied a request by Samsung for $2.6 million that Apple had posted as a bond to “pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained.”
The court will hold onto the bond cash pending resolution of post-verdict legal motions that could bear on whether the ban was a wrongful restraint, according to the ruling.
Apple has reportedly requested a hearing before Koh to argue that the amount awarded by the jury should be tripled as allowed by law since jurors found Samsung “willfully” infringed on patents.
Koh is on record noting that the jury verdict in her San Jose, California courtroom did not represent a “final ruling” in the case since it was being appealed.
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.
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.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
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