A U.S. District judge on Tuesday lifted the temporary sales ban against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 allowing the electronics maker to resume selling its Android-based tablet in the U.S., at least for now. The ruling is part of the current patent infringement battle between Apple and Samsung playing out in federal court. Samsung could still be prevented from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 within the U.S. depending on the outcome of a hearing set for December 6. At that time, Apple will ask for a permanent injunction against several Samsung Galaxy products including the Tab 10.1.
Apple in late June won a preliminary injunction that prevented Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 within the U.S. Apple obtained the sales ban by arguing the Tab 10.1 infringed one of its design patents. In other words, Apple claimed the Tab 10.1 looked similar to the iPad, a position the court ultimately agreed with. The iOS maker was also ordered to post a US$2.6 million bond that would go to Samsung if the court ultimately ruled that the Tab 10.1 was not an infringing product.
A jury in August found the Tab 10.1 did not infringe Apple’s design patent, one of Samsung’s few victories in a decision that could see the Korea-based manufacturer shell out US$1.05 billion or more to Apple. Despite winning the Tab 10.1 battle, Samsung won’t receive Apple’s US$2.6 million bond yet since the court won’t rule on the final status of the Tab 10.1 until the December 6 hearing. The Apple-Samsung December showdown will also decide whether Samsung will be banned from selling some of its phones within the U.S. including the Galaxy SII.
Samsung also intends to go after Apple in a second round of patent infringement litigation between the two companies that started in February 2012. Samsung is contending that Apple’s iPhone 5 infringes several of its patents, while Apple is trying to get the Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note banned from sale within the U.S.
And so the battle continues.