Apple wins preliminary U.S. sales injunction of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

California judge Lucy Koh has ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 requested by Apple, which will result in a halt of sales in the U.S. once Apple posts a $2.6 billion bond to cover potential damages Samsung would suffer. "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 said. The official ruling goes on to say:

This Court is persuaded by Judge O'Malley's concurrence that the public interest favors an injunction here 'because the record at this stage shows that the D'889 Patent is likely valid and infringed, and there are no other relevant concerns, the public interest is best served by granting a preliminary injunction.

Of course, Samsung was quick to file for an appeal against the preliminary injunction, which is a very real possibility considering Apple's original request for an injunction in December wasn't granted. This injunction request made it through as Apple had since found more prior art and offered arguments relating to an iPad 2 prototype Apple had presented to the patent office. Apple made pretty good progress against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany last fall, which ultimately resulted in Samsung releasing a slightly modified variant - an eventuality that seems likely in the U.S.. Even before the ruling was passed, Koh had scheduled another hearing for Friday, so this is far from a final blow against Samsung (though it is a big one). A proper trial is set to begin on July 30.

I have a hard time imagining that Apple will get this ruling to stick considering it's based on the infringement of a single design patent. Do you guys think Samsung is riding on the coattails of Apple's hard work in design, or are there only so many different ways you can make a tablet look? Do you know anyone who might conceivably mix up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an iPad?

Source: Reuters, FOSS Patents