Apple Can’t Use Injunction at Samsung Trial, Judge Says

Apple Inc. (AAPL) was barred by a federal judge from using a court order blocking U.S. sales of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer as evidence in a patent-infringement trial set to start July 30 in San Jose, California.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose ruled her order last month barring sales of the Tab is of “limited value” in the upcoming trial, and the “prejudicial effect to Samsung would greatly outweigh any relevance for the jury,” according to a July 19 ruling made public yesterday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday denied Samsung’s request to lift a ban on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer pending appeal. Koh also issued a June 29 ruling blocking U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

“Admitting these rulings into evidence would likely confuse the issues and waste time because it would likely devolve into a litigation within a litigation,” Koh wrote in her ruling.

Koh’s order stems from pretrial arguments in the case in which Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung and Cupertino, California-based Apple, the world’s two biggest makers of high- end phones, have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices. The companies are fighting patent battles on four continents to retain their dominance in the $219 billion global smartphone market.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11- cv-1846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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