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Samsung ordered to stop selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 in US

The latest round of the ongoing Apple v. Samsung court battle gives Apple the upper hand.

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A man uses Samsung Electronics' tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 displayed for customers at the company's headquarters in Seoul. On June 26, A U.S. judge backed Apple Inc's request to stop Samsung Electronics selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, giving the iPhone maker a significant win in the global smartphone and tablet patent wars.

Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

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A California judge ruled Thursday that Samsung can no longer sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US, based on Apple’s claims that Samsung violated its iPad patents.

In the meantime, the US District Court of the Northern District of California will continue to inspect Apple’s patents and compare them to Samsung’s products, according to the Associated Press

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So far, the Tab’s future doesn’t look promising – presiding Judge Lucy Koh said Apple “has established a strong case on the merits,” deeming the iPad and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 “virtually indistinguishable.”

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Indeed, the latest iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 boast similar sleek industrial designs and functionalities. Both have been built to serve as work- and entertainment-friendly helpers as well as laptop rivals, and it doesn’t help that they’re almost the exact same shape and size (the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen, while the Galaxy Tab’s comes out at 10.1 inches).

Apple argues that “the design and appearance of Samsung’s forthcoming products and packaging are directly relevant to Apple’s trademark, trade dress, and design claims,” court documents say.

By comparison, tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7, which both cost $199, still tend to fall under the eReaders category. The iPad and the Galaxy Tab start at $499.

Judge Koh ordered Apple to post a $2,600,000 bond “to secure payment of any damages sustained by defendant if it is later found to have been wrongfully enjoined.”

The two technology giants have been battling it out since April 2011, when Apple filed a suit alleging that “Samsung’s Galaxy cell phones and computer tablets infringe Apple’s trade dress, trademarks, and design patents.”

With the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S III – which some say is also similar to Apple’s slim iPhone 4S – the war doesn’t look like it’ll be over anytime soon.

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For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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