The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung took a turn in the South Korean giant’s favour, after a US court rejected a bid to block imports of its Galaxy-branded devices into the country.
According to Reuters, the decision has deprived Apple of “crucial leverage,” and will enable Samsung to capitalise on its momentum in the market – its Galaxy SII smartphone is currently available in several versions from the key US operators, including an LTE variant (pictured).
Apple and Samsung are currently involved in a fierce battle to be the world’s largest smartphone vendor, with both having already displaced previous title holder Nokia. While Samsung dominated the market in the third quarter, this was before the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S, which is set to reinvigorate its sales for the last three months of the year.
Nomura analyst CW Chung told Reuters that the decision is an indication that “the situation is turning positive for Samsung,” while Morgan Stanley said it removes the “worst case scenario” for the company. Apple could still prevail in a full trial, which is set to take place toward the middle of 2012.
Last week, it was reported that Apple had gained the upper hand in its dispute with Samsung in Australia, with sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked until 9 December 2011. The companies have numerous suits active in 10 countries, including several European markets.
Bloomberg noted that Apple is set for another significant legal development, with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) this week set to rule on a case it has active against HTC – this will mark the first final verdict from any judicial entity in Apple’s various cases against Android device makers which also includes Motorola Mobility. A judgement could see HTC blocked from importing devices to the US – a market where it is currently the smartphone leader, according to a recent study.
Late last month, the ITC ruled that Apple had not violated patents held by S3 Graphics, a company bought by HTC to bolster its intellectual property portfolio.