Apple has prevailed in seeking a preliminary sales injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet over the alleged infringement of the iPad's patented design.
The win marks a major victory for Apple in the ongoing "thermonuclear war" against rival mobile operating system Google's Android.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh previously rejected Apple's attempt to block the tablet in the U.S., but was forced to reconsider her position following an appeals court ruling.
Once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect Samsung against damages should the injunction be appealed and overturned, the sales ban can come into force.
"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," Koh wrote on Tuesday.
"While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."
Samsung will likely appeal the ruling, though a spokesperson was unavailable for comment at the time of writing to confirm the company's next move.
A Samsung statement said: "Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."
An Apple spokesperson said that "this kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," reiterating an earlier company statement. The Cupertino-based company did not say when --- or even if --- the bond would be posted.
The case hinges on a single design patent owned by Apple that protects the aesthetics of its iPad tablet. But many have argued the patent is too broad and could stifle innovation in the burgeoning tablet market.
Apple has more than 60 percent of the tablet market and sold more than 13.6 million iPads in the first calendar quarter. Samsung only sold 1.6 million tablets, giving the Korean-based technology giant just over 7 percent of the overall market share.
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