By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Tuesday granted Apple Inc's bid to stop Samsung Electronics from 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.
Samsung's Galaxy tablets, powered by Google's Android operating system, are considered by many industry experts to be the main contender to Apple's market-leading iPad.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, had previously denied Apple's bid for an injunction on the tablet and multiple Galaxy smartphones.
However, a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider Apple's request on the tablet.
"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," Koh wrote on Tuesday.
A Samsung representative could not be reached immediately for comment. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet reiterated a prior statement from the company, saying that Samsung's "blatant copying" is wrong.
Koh directed that her order become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond, to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.
(Reporting By Jennifer Saba and Dan Levine; Editing by Paul Tait)