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Federal judge ends ban against Galaxy 10.1 tablet

By Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News –

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge on Monday handed Samsung Electronics Co. a rare win in its patent feud with Apple Inc., agreeing to dissolve her prior order blocking Samsung from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the United States.

In a brief order, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh sided with Samsung’s argument that an August jury verdict established that the South Korean tech giant had not infringed Apple’s design patents for the iPad with the Galaxy 10.1, now an older line of Samsung tablet.

The judge dissolved a June preliminary injunction forbidding Samsung from selling that tablet in the U.S. while the case unfolds. Koh’s order said her reason for issuing the injunction “no longer exists,” and that it would be unfair to Samsung to leave the order intact.

A federal jury otherwise ruled heavily against Samsung in the closely watched legal showdown with Apple, which was awarded more than $1 billion in damages in a verdict that found Samsung had copied the iPhone and iPad designs with its smartphones and tablets.

Apple has asked for a permanent injunction against more than two dozen Samsung products, including the Galaxy 10.1. In her order Monday, Koh stressed that she was not expressing any opinion on the “merits” of Apple’s request, or Samsung’s move to set aside the verdict.

Koh has scheduled a December hearing to consider those issues.

Samsung has been releasing new tablets, such as the Galaxy Note, but still wants the ability to continue sales of the Galaxy 10.1.

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