California judge: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes off U.S. shelves

The biggest names in the global, $200-plus billion smartphone business are duking it out in court. California’s Apple Inc. won a recent court ruling in the ongoing intellectual property battle that blocks the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from the U.S. marketplace.

Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. are at the top of the international smartphone hierarchy. Each company claims the other has swiped patents. Their intellectual property battles are being waged on four continents. The latest fight puts Apple in the driver’s seat, for now.

A federal judge in California, acting on an appellate court’s opinion, told Samsung to stop sales of the year-old Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Estimated sales figures say the model may have reached about 300,000 American consumers in every quarter during the last year.

The ruling reversed an earlier decision not to block the Samsung tablets. The new decision follows a reaffirmation by the federal appeals court that Apple would likely succeed in its tablet patent infringement suit against Samsung.

Samsung contends that Apple is suing over patents of generic design. The company argued that pulling the Galaxy Tab from the market would endanger the company’s agreements with wireless carriers. Samsung said Apple’s infringement claim was too broad, a point the judge dismissed.

The loss of Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in the U.S. did not seem to bother Samsung executives. The tablets are a minor product line compared to Samsung smartphones. More than 44 million Samsung smartphones were sold around the world during the first quarter of this year.

The Korean company is still allowed to sell its newest Galaxy smartphone, at least until a court decides it can’t. The Galaxy S debuted in the U.S. last month, despite a challenge by Apple to stop it.

A trial date of July 30 is set to determine which electronic device maker is right. The California judge ordered Apple to put up a $2.6 million bond to cover damages, just in case Samsung wins.

Source: businessweek.com, “Apple Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Samsung Tablet,” Joel Rosenblatt, June 27, 2012