Samsung Electronics could still face a sales ban of its new flagship smartphone in the U.S. after a series of recent defeats in legal battles against Apple. Samsung has sold more than 10 million of the Galaxy S3 smartphone around the world in the month since it was released in late May.
All five major U.S. mobile providers began selling the Galaxy S3 in late June and are having trouble meeting demand. But Apple is likely to file for an injunction after managing to get two other Samsung mobile devices banned.
Samsung suffered a series of defeats in the U.S. The Northern District Court of California on Monday turned down Samsung's appeal against a preliminary injunction against the sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC.
Since Samsung sells several tablet PCs in the U.S., losses to the company would be minimal, judge Lucy Koh said.
The court on June 29 also banned the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the U.S. Like the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Nexus features Google's newest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
The court accepted Apple's claim that the phone infringes its patent for "data mining" features, which help users search data not only online but also from an embedded database. These features were not added by Samsung but are parts of the Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Apple could therefore apply for an injunction against the Galaxy S3 on the same grounds.
Already Apple has asked the court to review the Galaxy S3, suggesting it intends to block the phone’s sale. The request is pending, with the court pledging to review it if Apple files a separate lawsuit against the Galaxy S3.
Samsung has promised to provide "ample evidence" on appeal that the Galaxy Nexus does not infringe Apple's patents.