Apple has been given the right to seek a potential ban on Samsung products in the US. The decision comes after an original ruling had said such a ban was not permissible.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made the ruling on Monday, and said that the previous ruling handed down in December 2012 by Judge Lucy Koh had failed to take all the necessary considerations into account when making the decision.
“The district court abused its discretion in its analysis and consequently remand for further proceedings,” the appeal court judges wrote in their opinion on the case.
This now means if Apple can prove its sales were directly damaged by alleged copying of its patents by Samsung, such as pinch to zoom and similar multi-touch gestures, it could secure a ban on devices.
“Rather than show that a patented feature is the exclusive reason for consumer demand, Apple must show some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung's products,” added the court.
The decision is another victory for Apple in its long-running patent battle with Samsung after it secured a $1bn case ruling in its favour in August 2012, although this is still on appeal after a filing by Samsung. The appeal is currently being debated with Apple seeking at least $380m.
If Apple were to impose a ban on the import of Samsung devices it would pose a major problem for the South Korean firm, which is currently the only true rival to Apple in the smartphone market.
The case is similar to Nokia’s legal battle with HTC in the UK, in which the Finnish firm was given the potential to block sales of HTC devices in the country over two patent infringements.
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