A US judge on Tuesday granted Apple’s bid to stop Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, giving the iPhone maker a significant win in the global smartphone and tablet patent wars. Samsung’s Galaxy tablets, powered by Google’s Android operating system, are considered by many industry experts to be the main rival to the market-leading iPad. The ruling also comes as Samsung, a distant second to Apple in the tablet market, faces growing competition from rivals, with Microsoft and Google preparing their own tablets.
US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, had previously denied Apple’s bid for an injunction on the tablet and multiple Galaxy smartphones. However, a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet. “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote on Tuesday, directing that her order become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong.
“The relief being given to Apple here is extraordinary. Preliminary injunctions are rarely asked for and rarely granted,” said Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara Law in Silicon Valley. Samsung will likely seek to appeal Koh’s ruling to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes.