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In a new setback for Apple, a federal judge has rejected the company's plea to ban US sales of Samsung smartphones that infringed on its patents. Apple had asked for a permanent injunction against certain Samsung mobile devices, most of which were from the flagship Galaxy line, after a jury found in May that the South Korean company had infringed on three of its patents, and awarded the iPhone maker nearly $120 million in damages – just 5 percent of the more than $2 billion that Apple had originally sought.
The patents in question cover Apple's 'slide-to-unlock' feature, the so-called 'quick links' feature for scanning text to identify certain types of structures such as phone numbers, dates and email addresses, and auto correct.
In her ruling, US District Judge Lucy Koh said Apple failed to prove to the court that it deserves an injunction against infringing products. "Apple has not established that it suffered significant harm in the form of either lost sales or reputational injury", she said. "Moreover, Apple has not shown that it suffered any of these alleged harms because Samsung infringed Apple's patents".
Apple recently announced its fiscal Q3 2014 earnings, reporting $37.4 billion in revenue, up six percent compared to the year-ago quarter, and $7.7 billion in net profit, up from the $6.9 billion during the same period in 2013.
Back in August 2012, Samsung was found liable for over $1 billion in damages for infringing six patents held by Apple, although that amount was later trimmed to $929 million. Samsung is still appealing that ruling.
The latest ruling comes just a few weeks after both companies mutually agreed to drop all lawsuits filed against each other outside of the United States. While Samsung has welcomed the ruling, an Apple spokesperson declined to comment.