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!