U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction. Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have been battling in courst for nearly three years over various smartphone features patented by Apple, such as the deliberate use of the rounded rectangle.
Apple was awarded more than $900 million by U.S. juries but the iPhone maker has failed to get permanent sales ban against its rival. Apple has been forced to compete on the basis of quality and price, something it has been failing to do for a while. The ruling on Thursday comes ahead of another patent trial set to begin later this month involving newer Samsung phones, and could frustrate any further attempt by Apple to bar the sales of those models as well.
Samsung no longer sells the older-model phones targeted by the injunction request, but Apple has argued in court documents that such an order is important to prevent Samsung from future copying with new products "not more colourably different" than the defunct models.