Apple loses legal bid to halt US Samsung Galaxy S3 launch

In an effort to keep its existing patent case against Samsung rolling, Apple this week lost a bid to have the court ban the Samsung Galaxy S3 in the States before its release.

Apple will still pursue its patent fight against the Galaxy S3 but on a less-expedited basis than it might have wanted.

Last week, Apple asked the court to impose an injunction on the Galaxy S3 before it is released in the US, a rollout that will begin next week. Apple asked that the Galaxy S3 be added to its Galaxy Nexus complaint because the Galaxy S3 "contains two of the exact infringing features already at issue," Apple said at the time.

Samsung argued that it was too late for Apple to add more devices to its complaint, but Apple still floated the idea of requesting a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Galaxy S3.

In her response, California district Judge Lucy Koh said Apple was within its rights to file for a TRO, but said doing so would delay the current patent trial schedule. She gave Apple until June 8 to make up its mind about the TRO, and ultimately, Cupertino decided against it in order to proceed to trial.

As a result, the two sides will meet for a hearing on 21 June; the trial is set for 30 July, according to patent blogger Florian Mueller.

"If Apple seeks to file a motion to enjoin sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3, Apple will have to request a new hearing date from the Court," Judge Koh wrote.

The Galaxy S3 will be available from all four major US carriers as well as US Cellular and C Spire. In its complaint, Apple acknowledged that the Galaxy S3 will likely "sell phenomenally well immediately upon launch" - basically hurting Apple's market share thanks to Apple-owned technology, the company argued.

Samsung had pledged to "vigorously oppose the request and demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S3 is innovative and distinctive."