The patent wars between Samsung and Apple are stretching everyone pretty thin, lawyers and judges from 10 countries are contending with over 20 cases, manufacturers are having to make last minute adjustments to devices, and most importantly reporters, including yours truly, are having a hard time keeping up with it all.

Bringing the discussion stateside, on Friday a U.S. District Judge in California denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung. Apple had earlier sued Samsung in the U.S. claiming that the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and the iPad. However, the Judge disagreed and noted that "it is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed". Although the ruling suggests that Samsung is free to continue selling its products for now, the court did find that Samsung had likely infringed one of Apple's tablet patents. However, at this stage of the case Apple was unable to prove that the sale of the Galaxy devices by Samsung caused them "irreparable harm" and so the injunction was denied.

As Reuters points out Apple could ultimately prevail in the overall lawsuit, but even it if they do Samsung will likely only have to pay damages for the offending devices sold.

Naturally, Samsung is delighted by the results of the ruling:

Samsung welcomes today's ruling denying Apple's request for a preliminary injunction. This ruling confirms our long-held view that Apple's arguments lack merit. In particular, the court has recognized that Samsung has raised substantial questions about the validity of certain Apple design patents. We are confident that we can demonstrate the distinctiveness of Samsung's mobile devices when the case goes to trial next year. We will continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims to ensure our continued ability to provide innovative mobile products to consumers.

At least for the moment it looks like Samsung won't have to crudely modify a Galaxy Tab just to sell it in the U.S.

[Source: Reuters]

Thanks to Dy4me for the tip!

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • Tony

    And people wonder why the angry apple fanboys are such trolls? Hmmm! I wonder where they learn it from?

    • T Beiber

      I resent that. I dont consider myself an apple fanboy but i do own an ipod, iphone, macbook, apple tv, and ipad. I think Apple has the right to defend their patents and Samsung should be ashamed of how much damage they are doing to Apple's sales. You guys need to be more sensitive.

      • Omar

        Hahahaha lol you are not a apple fanboy you only need to change your name to Ibeiber to be apple fan boy. If someone what to buy a apple product buy it dont tell me because it similar to a samsung products you are not going to buy a apple product or the samsung you have the capacity to know the difference and choose what you want

  • djembeman

    Aren't we beyond tired of all of these Apple patent infringement lawsuits??? Is there a point that Apple will just shoot themselves in the Foot????

  • Aridon

    More innovation and less lawsuits.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com Abhiroop

    You can't say that Apple don't innovate. They just have enough money to do both.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    Doesn't anybody else feel like this is harkening back to about 10 years ago when the dumb girl burned her lap with some coffee from McDonalds, which she proceeded to sue them for not labeling their coffee as hot. In the following months, any and every absurd lawsuit was filed. The result of that was to put laws on the books to dictate a certain standard for defining frivolous lawsuits and how to appropriately punish people for filing them. I honestly think that's the direction this is headed.

    • Tyler C

      You clearly have no idea what happened in that case. It wasnt just some "dumb girl". It was an elderly lady who had absolutely severe burns because the coffee WAS too hot, just like scorching hot. It nearly killed her and cost tens of thousands of dollars for surgery and McD's didnt give her jack crap

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

        It's been a long time, but I do remember seeing the news on TV...the woman shown was in her late 30's or early 40's, she got the coffee from the window and took off driving. She took the coffee, immediately tried to take a gulp from it and when it burned her tongue she dropped the cup right on her lap.

        I'm not defending McDonalds, hell, I actually believe they should be sued for the content of their food...But I can't fathom the idea that they can be sued because a girl was, yes, dumb enough to drop it on her lap. It nearly killed her because she almost drove into oncoming traffic. McDonalds may have technically been the trigger, but Darwin predicted her destiny...Her case was even used in Congress as an example of frivolous cases which needed to be stopped, and was one of the arguments that lead to the law being strengthened (it actually did already exist). It was a frivolous suit, end of story.

        Most importantly, it doesn't change the point that Apple is suing companies frivolously and at this stage, they've demonstrated that they are abusing the legal system, which needs to be taken more seriously.

        • saucequatch

          That incident was almost 20 years ago. She was 79 at the time and suffered 3rd degree burns to her crotch. She was not driving and was in the passenger seat. The car was not moving at the time either.

  • R Lich

    The lady in question was NOT 79, her life was NOT threatened and driving was not a factor in the lawsuit. Check your facts.
    As for Apples lawsuit, it is, indeed, yet another example of a frivolous lawsuit from a company which can afford to do so simply to screw with their competition.
    @ibeiber by definition you are clearly a fanboi: you own every apple device possible and flagrantly bash those who dare to not worship as you do!

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

      Cheers for caring enough to look it up...and not to pick, but the article you linked to actually states she was 79 years old ;) Somehow all 4 of us have managed to get some details wrong and others right...too bad these details are painfully irrelevant to the original point (for which only Tyler disagreed), that like this one, Apple's caseload lately is frivolous and demonstrates they need a punishment for taking advantage of the legal system(s).

  • Dan

    I think that apple should make better and more innovative products instead of copying a 5 year old design of the LG Prada for their iPhone 4. What the hell would a phone be if not rectangular with a black screen?
    Samsung is making more desirable products and Apple cant bear the fact they are loosing customers, so they sue. Its buisiness step up your game Apple.

  • Aaron Gray

    Apple has more at stake in this business than Samsung. They don't have a controlling interest in the phones, or any other electronics for that matter. That portion of their products is farmed out to other manufacturers, many of which sell to several other device makers, or are the actual competitors. This is one reason why Apple, called Macintosh at the time, began a side project with processors to get out from having to rely on their direct competitors. We see how long that lasted. Apple is primarily a software company. Their innovation is in software, not hardware. That alone makes them VERY vulnerable to the depletion of their customer base caused by the innovation and invention of other companies in the markets being besieged by lawsuits from multiple sides. Thus their lawsuits should be aimed at the software side, not the product itself as a whole. I personally would love to see all this come to an end. I don't like Apple products personally; they’re too controlling with their software and apps. Their products, while works of art, and are highly prone to scratches, dents, and damage. Then they look like crap. While Apple may have many good innovations, they don’t control people.