An American appeals court has overturned an order blocking the South Korean tech giant Samsung from selling the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the United States.
It was an encouraging win for Samsung, after Apple's $1 billion August win in the patent war between the two companies.
The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. found that Judge Lucy Koh had no legal basis to issue a preliminary injunction earlier this year against the Nexus smartphone.
Samsung can continue selling the phone while the patent battle with Apple continues.
In a suit filed earlier this year, Apple sought to block sales of some Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Nexus, which is an older line of Samsung smartphone, since overshadowed by the release of the Galaxy S III.
The patent claims against the Nexus allege Samsung infringed features on Apple's iPhone 4S, including the Siri voice option. These are separate from the case decided by the federal jury in August.
Then the jury sided with Apple finding that dozens of even older smartphones and tablets were copies of the iPhone and iPad.
Apple has moved for a permanent injunction against all those Samsung devices , a request Koh will consider at a hearing in December.
The new appeals court ruling only applies to Koh's decision in June to issue a preliminary injunction before a trial.
But it was significant. The San Jose Mercury News said the ruling provided "much-needed legal ammunition in a battle with Apple that is likely to continue to make its way to the Federal Circuit."
The Mercury News added, "Samsung appears to be faring better in the Federal Circuit than with Koh or in the jury trial."
Koh earlier dissolved a injunction against Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet after the Federal Circuit indicated that order had legal weaknesses.
Samsung wants the $1 billion judgment set aside , saying there was insufficient proof that they trampled on Apple's patent rights on the iPhone and iPad.