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Just when you thought the patent litigation saga between Apple and Samsung was beginning to dwindle into obscurity it has returned with a vengeance. The discontent between the two companies may not have been hitting public headlines as much in recent months, but it has still been simmering away nicely in the background with legal teams from both entities doing their best to represent their sides. In a ruling that has been passed down today, the United States Court of Appeals has ruled that Apple can have yet another stab at trying to get certain offending Samsung smartphones banned from sale.

Apple had previously suffered from a setback handed down by Judge Lucy Koh that prevented the Cupertino based company from pursuing an order to ban a total of twenty-six Samsung handsets from sale. Today’s ruling negates that earlier denial and allows Apple’s legal team to immediately begin pursuing an injunction that would see South Korean based Samsung from permanently selling any smartphone device that has been ruled to infringe on Apple’s patents.

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The bitter rivalry between the world’s two largest smartphone vendors has been approaching boiling point for quite some time. Both sides have managed to notch up minor victories during the course of the legal action, but this latest ruling will allow Apple to aggressively seek a sales ban on those Samsung devices that a jury has previously ruled directly breach the company’s technical utility patents. In order to satisfy the court and actually have a ban placed on the Samsung hardware the Apple legal team will be required to show “some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung’s products”.

To put it bluntly, Apple will have to show that consumers have opted for the Samsung hardware over other devices partly because the phone featured functionality that was made possible by the Apple held patent.

Today’s ruling doesn’t automatically mean that they are guaranteed to be granted an injunction that will prevent the sale of the offending devices. It does however offer renewed hope for Tim Cook’s company in their pursuit of what they feel is a right and just outcome. In all honesty, the hardware that is actually under scrutiny in this case isn’t really relevant in today’s market, but it does offer yet another psychological victory for Apple over their main rivals in the smartphone world.

(Source: UnitedStatesCourtOfAppeals)

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