TechnoStorm

Samsung 'disappointed' at US judge's tablet decision

Samsung Electronics said on Thursday it was "disappointed" at a US judge's refusal to lift a ban on US sales of its tablet computer as it fights a long-running global legal battle with arch-rival Apple.

A California jury declared on August 24 that the South Korean electronics giant should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S smartphones.

But the jury said Samsung did not abuse design patents that were the grounds for a temporary ban -- placed by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh in June -- on Galaxy Tab 10.1 device imports.

However, Koh wrote in a ruling Wednesday that she would grant Samsung's request to lift the ban if she could, but no longer had authority to make the call since the firm appealed to a higher court to have the ban overturned.

"We are disappointed by the court's decision. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure consumer access to our innovative products," Samsung said in a statement Thursday.

Samsung and Apple -- respectively the world's number one and two smartphone makers -- have been at loggerheads over dozens of patent lawsuits in 10 nations, accusing each other of copying technologies and designs.

The decision on August 24 appeared to be an overwhelming victory for Apple, but it was not immediately clear whether it would halt sales of Samsung devices or affect newer models released since the case was filed.

Samsung has sold more than 20 million units of its latest Galaxy S III smartphones since its launch in late May and is set to soon release the newest version of the oversized Galaxy Note smartphones.

Apple, which previously filed patent infringement actions on earlier versions of the Galaxy S series, added Galaxy S III to the list in a fresh complaint filed on September 1, further intensifying pressure on Samsung.

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