California judge Lucy Koh issued the injunction at the request of Apple, which argued that Samsung had violated its design patents. The court said that Samsung has also been banned from importing the device, or any other product that is “no more than colorably different” and “embodies any design” that infringes Apple’s patent, into the country.
The injunction comes less than a week after a federal judge in Chicago dismissed Apple’s patent claims against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit.
“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” Judge Koh wrote in the order. “As a patent holder, Apple has a valid right to exclude others from practicing Apple’s invention.”
Apple and Samsung have been locked in legal battles in the U.S and overseas since Apple sued Samsung in April last year. Apple has won similar injunctions in other countries, most notably in Australia and Germany, forcing Samsung to redesign its device for those markets.
Judge Koh had previously denied Apple’s bid for an injunction on the tablet and multiple Galaxy smartphones. However, a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet. The injunction should become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong.
It’s widely reported that Samsung is likely to appeal Koh’s ruling to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes.
Meanwhile, Google has revealed the features of its own tablet computer. The Nexus 7, which will be similar in size to Amazon’s Kindle Fire, will run Google’s latest Android operating system, Jelly Bean. Google’s entry into the tablet market is expected to increase the rivalry between Apple’s iOS-based devices and Android-based products.