Apple's ongoing attempts to have the sale of Samsung mobile products banned in the US was dealt another blow yesterday as the US Court of Appeals ruled that the district court in California that had delivered the original injunction had "abused its discretion."
As a consequence, Samsung's aging Galaxy Nexus smartphone will be available for purchase once again in the US. The Galaxy Nexus was one of the products that was found to have breached Apple patents, including click-to-zoom. This latest judgment comes hot on the heals of the overturning of a US sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this month, calling Apple's policy of litigation into question.
Samsung welcomed the latest decision, according to Reuters, stating that it "confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice".
"We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products," a Samsung spokesman said.
While largely of symbolic value to Samsung, the latest chapter in the long-running battle between the two mobile device giants is an important test of which system will ultimately dominate the fast-growing mobile landscape: Apple's locked down proprietary iOS-based environment, current leader Google's open-source Android OS – which is deployed on the Samsung devices – and its offshoots, or the new range of Microsoft Windows-8-based devices that are soon to hit the marketplace.
Back in August, a California court awarded Apple $1.05bn (£665m) in damages from Samsung following a judgment that the South Korean company had infringed its design patents. Apple has since pressed for further damages while Samsung has challenged the original verdict and called for a retrial.