By Erin Geiger Smith
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Tuesday rejected a request by Samsung Electronics Co. to lift a pre-trial injunction against sales of its Galaxy Nexus phone, another legal setback for the South Korean firm ahead of an upcoming court battle with Apple Inc..
Last week, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, granted Apple's request to block sales of the smartphone. Samsung had asked the court to stay the injunction pending resolution of an appeal.
On Monday, Koh rejected a similar request to lift a ban on the U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, a tablet computer that runs on Google Inc's Android and is a competitor of Apple's iPad.
The two injunctions were significant victories for Apple, as such pre-trial injunctions are rarely granted.
Apple and Samsung, the world's largest consumer electronics corporations, are waging legal war in around 10 countries, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices.
Apple sued Samsung last year, accusing the South Korean electronics maker of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the claim and countersued. The case is due to come to court late this month and could have implications in other jurisdictions.
The district court is not the last chance for Samsung to get the injunctions lifted. Samsung has also appealed to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes.
As a condition of the Galaxy Nexus injunction, Apple was ordered to post a bond in the amount of more than $95 million to secure payment of any damages sustained by Samsung should the injunction be deemed a wrongful decision later.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet reiterated her previous statement in the case, saying Samsung blatantly copied Apple's products and that Apple must protect it's intellectual property.
Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The smartphone case is U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 12-00630.
(Reporting By Erin Geiger Smith; Editing by Richard Pullin)