It looks like that for the moment, the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the product of the close collaboration between Google and Samsung, will be limited to the estimated 6000 units that Google had distributed to developers last week, at least in the United States.
On Friday, Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California issued a pre-trial ban on the gadget, which followed her earlier decision that prevented Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S. market.
"Apple has shown a likelihood of establishing both infringement and validity," Agence France Presse (AFP) reported the U.S. court as saying on Monday in handing down the ruling.
Reuters called the development as rare enough in the context of legal wars being waged under the jurisdiction of the U.S. justice system, which the new agency said was not normally predisposed to grant preliminary injunctions.
But submissions so far lodged by Apple in supporting its patents case against Samsung have apparently convinced Ms Koh that the American tech giant deserves the court's favour this time following its failed attempts since 2011 to block the sale of Galaxy gadgets, at least in the North American region.
Minus the court intervention, Reuters reported that Apple "is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products."
Within the past week, the same court opined that the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Nexus represented infringements of technology patents that Apple exclusively own, thus the back-to-back rulings, which came in the aftermath of Apple's failed infringement case against Motorola Mobility, recently bought by Google.
But Samsung immediately filed a request that would allow the company to continue to sell the two products pending the conclusion of the patent spars.
The court said that its answer on the plea could be released at the start of the week, which could suspend Ms Koh's earlier salvo against Samsung's products, thereby paving the way for their 'temporary' availability in America.
Prior to that notice, the court also ordered Apple to post a bond of US$95.6 million for the injunctions to take effect.
Ms Koh took into consideration that the trial may end in Samsung's favour and the amount stipulated above should cushion the projected losses that the Asian tech titan could incur while the injunctions were in effect, Reuters said.
Apple said in a statement that the latest ruling only reiterated its claims since last year that Samsung's Galaxy products - in terms of technology and designs - were crafted to capitalise on the huge popularity being enjoyed by the iPad and iPhone.
The company stressed that the legal cases it has been pursuing against Samsung were all meant to protect its intellectual property.
Both Samsung and Google expressed their disappointments on the decision, with the latter expressing confidence that the cases will in the end support their contention.
"Were disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light," the internet giant was quoted by AFP as saying.
On its part, Samsung insisted on its appeal that Apple's cases stand on very weak arguments.
"The Court's finding that Apple will suffer irreparable harm was based on legally insufficient evidence that Samsung and Apple are competitors," the South Korean firm was quoted by tech blog site Smarthouse as saying today.
Since sparking off their legal contests last year, Apple saw Samsung ascending to become its chief rival in the smartphone market, with the latter even becoming the top seller of the device as of the first quarter of 2012, while Google's Android topped the iOS as the world's most dominant mobile platform, also within the same period.
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