An American judge has decided that the South Korean company Samsung, locked in a patent battle with Apple, can continue selling its Galaxy products in the U.S. until the case goes to trial in July.
Judge Lucy Koh, in federal court judge at San Jose, California, refused Apple a preliminary injunction that would have banned the sale of three Samsung smartphones and a tablet computer in the U.S. until Apple's copying case against against Samsung is heard .
The Wall Street Journal said the ruling "wasn't a surprise" since U.S. courts have long had a high bar for removing products from the marketplace.
Apple went to court in April, accusing Samsung of design and trademark infringements.
Courts in Germany and the Netherlands have temporarily stopped the sale of Samsung products pending trials.
In Australia , the High Court will decide later this week on whether Samsung can resume sales of its Galaxy tab in the country.
In Friday's 65-page ruling in California, Judge Koh said that Apple might ultimately succeed in showing that Samsung copied ideas from Apple's iPhone and iPad for its Galaxy smartphones and Galaxy Tab computer when the case goes to trial in July. But for now, Apple hasn't met the standards needed to pull Samsung products from the shelves.
As well as establishing likelihood of success, Judge Koh said Apple needed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm without a ban, that it would suffer more hardship than Samsung without a ban and that the public interest would be served by the ban.
The California decision is a big plus for Samsung, enabling it to sell the disputed products over the Christmas period, unless Apple makes further efforts to block the sales.