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In a major setback to Apple, a US judge has rejected its request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones in the country.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said that the iphome maker had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were infringed by Samsung.
Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have been embroiled in a legal hassle for nearly three years over various smartphone features patented by Apple, such as the use of fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen.
Apple was awarded more than $900 million by U.S. juries but the iPhone maker has failed to sustain a permanent sales ban against its rival, a far more serious threat to Samsung, which earned $7.7 billion last quarter.
The ruling comes ahead of another patent trial set to begin later this month involving newer Samsung phones, and could cause another embarrassment for Apple.
Even though Samsung no longer sells the older-model phones targeted by the injunction request, Apple has argued in court documents that such an order is important to prevent Samsung from future copying with new products.
Samsung, meanwhile, argued that Apple was trying to instill fear and uncertainty among carriers and retailers. Samsung’s phones use the Android operating system, developed by Google Inc.