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Judge stops U.S. sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab

A U.S. judge yesterday backed Apple’s request to stop Samsung Electronics selling their Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States. This could have ramifications worldwide for Samsung as Apple chalk up a victory in the patent wars.

Apple have had little challenge in the tablet sector since they announced their iPad several years ago. Samsung’s Galaxy tablets are considered by many experts to be the closest thing they have to a rival, although their sales figures are a very distant second. Amazon’s Kindle Fire has sold quite well for the company, although they aren’t causing problems for Apple either.

Microsoft and Google are preparing their own tablet computers to challenge Apple. Apple currently hold around 63 percent of the global tablet market, according to reports from research firm Display Search. They sold 13.6 million iPads between January and March this year. Samsung by comparison sold 1.6 million tablets, holding 7.5 percent of the market.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California has previously denied the Apple request for an injuction on the Samsung tablet alongside a handful of Galaxy smartphones. A Federal appeals court however instructed Koh to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet ban.

Koh wrote yesterday “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.” He said the order should become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later negated.

Apple and Samsung are in the middle of patent battles worldwide. Apple seek to target Android partners and a positive injunction in one of the U.S. legal cases could strengthen Apple’s hand in negotiating cross licensing deals.

Apple’s stance on patent claims has been seen as aggressive in certain circles and this injunction could be critical although Samsung will likely appeal the ruling to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said that Samsung’s ‘blatant copying’ is wrong.

Samsung said that the U.S. ruling does not affect the updated Tab 10.1 II and that retailers can also clear their existing Tab 10.1 inventories.

Kitguru says: We can’t see this battle easing anytime soon.

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