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Judge denies Apple’s requset to block Samsung’s U.S. phone sales

Consumers Shop At An Apple Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings FiguresConsumers Shop At An Apple Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Apple store.Bloomberg—Getty Images

A federal judge on Wednesday denied Apple’s request to block Samsung Electronics from selling smartphones in the U.S. that infringe on its patents.

Apple (AAPL) had submitted the request in the wake of a federal jury’s decision in May that Samsung had violated three of Apple’s patents. The jury found that some Samsung smartphones infringed on features of Apple’s iPhone, including the slide-to-unlock feature.

The decision earlier this year was essentially a mixed bag for Apple, though, because the jury awarded Apple only $120 million of the $2.2 billion the company sought. Meanwhile, Apple was also forced to pay Samsung $158,000 after the jury said it had violated one of the South Korean smartphone company’s patents.

Apple was seeking a permanent injunction on the sale of nine older Samsung smartphone models, including the Galaxy S3, which were found to infringe on Apple patents used in iPhone models.

But, federal judge Lucy Koh rejected the notion that the tech giant would be irreparably harmed if Samsung were allowed to continue selling the infringing phones in the U.S. Apple had argued it could lose out on sales and that it would also “suffer irreparable damage to its reputation as an innovator” if a court-imposed ban was not put into place. However, Koh wrote in her ruling that Apple was unable to prove either of these points.

“Apple has not satisfied its burden of demonstrating irreparable harm and linking that harm to Samsung’s exploitation of any of Apple’s three infringed patents,” she wrote, adding that Apple had failed to prove that the specific infringing features in Samsung’s phones were driving the sales of those products.

The May decision is still under appeal, as is a separate 2012 ruling awarding Apple $930 million in damages over other Samsung patent violations. The two companies continue to battle in the U.S. despite the fact that they agreed to settle all patent disputes outside this country earlier this month.

Apple is expected to unveil the latest in its line of smartphones, the iPhone 6, at an event early next month.