The ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung continues to generate new drama, with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit now lifting the sales ban recently imposed on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
On 30 June, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh embargoed the Galaxy Nexus smartphone by issuing a rare pre-trial injunction and preventing the device from being distributed Stateside.
Making that ruling, Judge Koh ventured that the Samsung mobile infringed on four patents held by Apple, and that the Cupertino-based tech giant stood to lose substantial market share in the absence of a preliminary retail prohibition.
On Friday, the Appeals Court overturned this decision, apparently satisfied with Google's announcement that the Galaxy Nexus would now ship running the most recent incarnation of its operating system, Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean,' which contains software tweaks designed to address the disputed patents - and that version 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' would also be updated with the workarounds.
However, patent blogger Florian Mueller has noted the temporary nature of the ruling and the burden it puts on Samsung's manufacturing arm.
"Samsung can now sell some more of the Nexus units it already has in its US warehouse, but the temporary stay could go away within a matter of days or a very few weeks. Samsung will need to build, and ship to the US, some non-infringing Nexus units anyway to avoid or minimise disruption in case this temporary stay is not extended," Mueller wrote.
The legal onus is now back on Apple, who has until 12 July to register an objection to the latest ruling. The Appeals Court stopped short of lifting the ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which at present remains banned from shelves until the trial, scheduled for 30 July.
As a result of the decision, Samsung's Galaxy Nexus has now reappeared as available for purchase in the Google Play store.
Samsung and Apple are among the companies currently locked in tense, patent-related legal battles across the globe, as leading firms vie to expand their share of the smart device market amidst projections of continued growth.