SAN FRANCISCO – A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that a lower court should reconsider a sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 won by Apple in a patent dispute with the South Korean electronics maker.
The injunction was put in place ahead of a month-long trial that pitted iPhone maker Apple Inc against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a closely watched legal battle that ended with a resounding victory for Apple last month on many of its patent violation claims.
However, the jury found that Samsung had not violated the patent that was the basis for the tablet injunction and Samsung argued the sales ban should be lifted. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said she could not act because Samsung had already appealed.
In its ruling on Friday, the Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington said Koh could now consider the issue.
The decision comes just a month before the South Korean corporation is expected to unveil the second generation of one of its most successful devices, the stylus-equipped Note.
The Galaxy 10.1 is an older model, but the ban still hurts Samsung in the run-up to the pivotal holiday shopping season.
The world's top two smartphone makers are locked in patent disputes in 10 countries as they vie to dominate the lucrative market, which is growing rapidly.
A U.S. jury found during the just-concluded trial that Samsung had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages.
(Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn. Editing by Andre Grenon)