Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: U.S. Court Lifts Sales Ban Granted Prior To Apple Vs Samsung Patent Trial

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The Northern District Court of California has overturned a sales ban against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 won by Apple in patent litigation against Samsung, Reuters is reporting.

This follows a ruling at the end of last month by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh could decide whether or not to lift the ban on U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1-inch tablet. Koh had previously refused to rule on the matter.

“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,” Samsung is reported as saying in a statement.

We’ve contacted Apple and Samsung for further comment and will update with any response. Samsung provided the following statement: “On September 28, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made a ruling, permitting the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to consider our request to lift the preliminary injunction on the GALAXY Tab 10.1. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products.”

Apple filed for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet back in May ahead of the trial. In the U.S. the dispute focuses on the iPad D’889 design patent — Apple’s trade dress — but the jury in the Apple vs Samsung trial subsequently decided Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 had not infringed this design patent, effectively invalidating the earlier ruling banning U.S. sales.

However it’s not necessarily the end of the road for the Tab 10.1 design disputes — FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller notes that after a hearing scheduled for early December Apple can still win a permanent injunction against Samsung’s slate “over the D’889 tablet design patent if it prevails on the related part of its Rule 50 (“overrule-the-jury”) motion”.

Apple won an E.U.-wide preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 last year — although this was subsequently lifted in all countries except Germany, where the sales ban was granted. The dispute over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the E.U. rested on Apple’s Community Design 000181607 for the iPad.