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Samsung is barred from selling it's Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the U.S.

The tablet violates Apple iPad design patent

The waging patent wars between Apple and Samsung continues. This time a judge bars sales of the Samung Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the U.S.

On Tuesday a federal judge ordered a preliminary injunction against Samsung for violating Apple’s iPad design patent. The injunction will go into effect after Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to the court, at that point Samsung will have to discontinue the device’s sales in the U.S.

Initially district judge in San Jose, Lucy Koh dismissed Apple’s bid for an injunction on the tablet and other Galaxy smartphones, however a federal appeal court advised Koh to reconsider the request.

Koh said, “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.”

Colleen Chien, Law professor at Santa Clara said, “The relief being given to Apple here is extraordinary. Preliminary injunctions are rarely asked for and rarely granted…That this was a design patent and copying was alleged distinguish this case from plain vanilla utility patent cases. Cases involving these kinds of patents are based more on a counterfeiting theory than a competition theory, so I don’t expect this case to have ramifications for all smartphone disputes, but rather those involving design patents and the kind of product resemblance we had here.”

In a statement Samsung objects to Apple’s injunction and says, “Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”

Samsung said in a statement to The Times on Wednesday the injunction “will ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the U.S.” This could strengthen Apple’s hand in negotiating cross-licensing deals on patented technologies.

Samsung doesn’t expect the ruling to hinder business operations—the company continues to sell other tablet models in the U.S. Koh said “the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1” was greater than the possible damage Samsung would face if forced to withdraw its product from the market.

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