Apple’s request to ban sales of Samsung’s iPad competitor, the Galaxy Tab, has been granted by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. This marks one of the first major wins for Apple in the U.S. as the company continues to file patent complaints against rivals. Samsung’s Galaxy tablet, which is powered by Google’s Android operating system, is considered Apple’s main iPad rival, though it is a distant second.
The same judge that granted this injunction had previously denied Apple’s plea for an injunction on the tablet and numerous Galaxy smartphones. The reason for the change is that a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet.
Koh said of her decision, “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.” She added that this court order should become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction turns out to be wrong.
Apple has been waging this international patent war since 2010, with the purpose of limiting the growth of Google’s Android system, the world’s best-selling mobile operating platform. Opponents of Apple argue that they are using patents too aggressively in its attempt to eliminate competition.
Apple’s win against Samsung comes less than a week after a judge in Chicago dismissed a patent claim against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit.
Samsung will likely appeal Koh’s decision in a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes.
Meanwhile, this ban only affects the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and not the upgraded version Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which was recently unveiled. Retailers are permitted to sell their remaining Galaxy Tab 10.1 inventory, so Samsung won’t suffer losses on units that have already been shipped to distribution partners.