By Erin Geiger Smith
July 2 A U.S. judge on Monday rejected a request
by Samsung Electronics Co. to lift a ban on U.S.
sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1, dealing a third legal setback to
the South Korean firm in just a week, as it braces for a
make-or-break patent trial later this month with Apple Inc
Apple and Samsung, the world's largest consumer electronics
corporations, are waging legal war in around 10 countries,
accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for
supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California,
rejected Samsung's request to lift her June 26 order to halt
sales of the tablet, which runs on Google Inc's Android
and goes toe-to-toe with the iPad.
Koh also slapped a pre-trial ban on sales of Samsung's
Galaxy Nexus phone on Friday.
Apple sued Samsung last year, accusing the South Korean
electronics maker of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad.
Samsung denies the claim and countersued. The case is due to
come to court this month and could have implications in other
The affected tablets and smartphones are unlikely to have
major impact on Samsung's earnings, as the firm has since
introduced upgraded models. But the back-to-back loss is
significant because pre-trial injunctions are rarely granted.
The two firms' U.S. trial is set on July 30.
"Samsung is disappointed with the court's decision that
denied our motion to stay. We believe today's ruling will
ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological
features to consumers in the United States," Samsung said in a
The district court is not the last chance for Samsung to get
the injunction lifted. Samsung has also appealed to a federal
appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive
jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes.
An Apple spokeswoman reiterated the company's previous
comment that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the
iPhone and iPad.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said
many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual
property when companies steal our ideas," the spokeswoman said.
Samsung's Galaxy touchscreen tablets are considered by many
industry experts to be the main rival to the iPad, though they
are currently a distant second to Apple's devices. Microsoft
and Google are also preparing tablet offerings.
Apple sold 13.6 million iPads in January-March to control 63
percent of the global tablet market, according to research from
Display Search. Samsung sold 1.6 million tablets, giving it 7.5
percent of the market.
Samsung, which has various tablet line-ups with different
sizes from 7 inches to 10.1 inches (17.8-25.7 cm), introduced
the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in June last year and unveiled an upgraded
version, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II, in May.
In smartphones, the banned Galaxy Nexus was introduced late
last year, and Apple is also seeking a preliminary injunction of
the Galaxy S III, the third generation of Samsung's flagship
smartphone, which went on sale late last month in the U.S.
"The impact on Samsung is limited as shipment volume of
Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Nexus are quite small," said Lee Sun-tae, an
analyst at NH Investment & Securities.
"Even if Apple wins an injunction request on Galaxy S III,
Samsung will have plenty of time to get around it, as it
normally takes quite a long time for a court to process such
The case is U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al,