US court overturns Samsung Galaxy Nexus ban after appeal

A US appeals court has overturned a ban on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that was first requested by Apple earlier this year.

As reported by Reuters, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision and returned the case to the California district court for reconsideration.

In late June, Judge Lucy Koh found that the Galaxy Nexus, the first US phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, likely infringed on four patents cited by Apple. The Cupertino firm first requested the ban in mid-February, arguing that the Galaxy Nexus infringed on patents for "data tapping," Siri and unified search, slide-to-unlock technology, and word completion for touch screens.

Apple posted a $96 million (£60 million) bond to have the phone pulled from US shelves, and it was removed from Google Play. An upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, however, allowed Google to return the unlocked version to the store.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit delayed the Galaxy Nexus ban in July - and again in August - pending the final appeals court decision, which came down this week in Samsung's favour.

"We welcome this reversal by the Federal Circuit, finding that the District Court abused its discretion in ordering a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus," Samsung said in a statement. "Today's decision confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products."

This is not the same patent case that Samsung lost in August - to the tune of $1.05 billion. Apple and Samsung have a second patent case in California, which is expected to go to trial in March 2014. Recently, Samsung added the iPhone 5 to its complaint in that case.