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Samsung allowed to sell Galaxy Tab in U.S. as court lifts ban

(Reuters) - A U.S. court removed a temporary sales ban against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy Tab 10.1 won by Apple Inc in a patent dispute, allowing the South Korean company to sell the product in the United States.

While the Galaxy 10.1 is an older model, the lifting of the ban could still help Samsung in the run-up to the pivotal holiday shopping season.

"We are pleased with the court's action today, which vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple's design patent and that an injunction was not called for," Samsung said in a statement.

Separately, Samsung filed a motion against Apple saying the iPhone 5 had infringed on some of the company's patents.

The world's top two smartphone makers are locked in patent disputes in 10 countries as they vie to dominate the lucrative market.

The legal fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in multiple countries, and Samsung countersued.

The injunction on the Galaxy tablet had been put in place ahead of a month-long trial that pitted the iPhone maker against Samsung in a closely watched legal battle that ended in August with a victory for Apple on many of its patent violation claims.

However, the jury found that Samsung had not violated the patent that was the basis for the tablet injunction and Samsung argued the sales ban should be lifted.

The sole basis for the preliminary injunction no longer exists since the jury found that Samsung's Galaxy Tab had not violated Apple's D'889 patent.

"The court does not agree with Apple that Samsung's motion for dissolution of the June 26 preliminary injunction cannot be fairly decided without resolving Apple's post-trial motions," Judge Lucy Koh said in her ruling.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; additional reporting by Miyoung Kim in Seoul and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Ryan Woo)

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