Apple has been dealt the latest blow in its ongoing legal spat with Samsung, after a U.S. district judge Monday denied its request to permanently ban Samsung smartphones from U.S. shelves.
Apple was attempting to halt sales of 26 Samsung smartphones, claiming they bore too significant a resemblance to its own popular iPhone. But U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request, ruling that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company had not successfully proved Samsung phones needed to be permanently pulled from the U.S. market, according to a report Monday from Reuters.
"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote in the ruling.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions," Koh continued, according to Reuters.
Apple and Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple's attempt to impose a permanent injunction on Samsung smartphones came on the heels of a California jury ruling in August that Samsung had infringed on six Apple patents when building its own Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The verdict cost Samsung a whopping $1.05 billion in damages.
According to Reuters, Samsung had requested a new trial be held, alleging that that the jury foreman in August was unfairly in favor of Apple, but Judge Koh also denied that bid in a separate ruling Monday.
Meanwhile, the two tech rivals are slated to return to U.S. court in 2014 to battle a new set of patent infringement claims. The case will be targeted at newer smartphone and tablet designs from the two companies, including Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S III.
Samsung currently dominates the smartphone market with 22.9 percent market share, according to Gartner, while Apple has a leg up in the tablet space, commanding more than 50 percent of the global market.
PUBLISHED DEC. 18, 2012