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Apple Wins Toothless Ban|of Samsung Devices

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - In the latest round of the patent battle between Apple and Samsung, a federal judge ordered Samsung to stop selling smartphones and tablets with certain software features - devices that are no longer on the market.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Monday granted Apple a permanent injunction against devices that use technology covered by patents that Samsung was found to have infringed. Specifically, she found that Samsung had illegally implemented Apple's patents for data detectors, "slide-to-unlock," and predictive-text input software.

The devices banned from being produced and sold in the United States include the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere.

Apple requested the injunction after it won a $119.6 million verdict against Samsung in May 2014, with the jury finding that Samsung had infringed on several Apple patents. Koh initially ruled against a ban on products that used those patents because she said that the monetary damages were sufficient.

The Federal Circuit vacated that ruling, finding that Samsung should have been banned from using the Apple features in its devices.

On remand, Koh ruled that Apple will suffer irreparable harm if Samsung continues using the infringing features and that any monetary damages will not adequately compensate the iPhone company.

However, the permanent injunction will likely have little consequence for either company, aside from being a symbolic victory for Apple. While a few places continue to sell the old devices today, the majority of the infringing products are no longer on the market and Samsung sells newer models that are not named in the injunction.

Furthermore, the patent for data detection is set to expire on Feb. 1 and Samsung has a 30-day grace period before it must comply with the injunction, effectively making the ruling on this patent irrelevant.

Still, Samsung said it was disappointed in the decision.

"While this will not impact American consumers, it is another example of Apple abusing the judicial system to create bad legal precedent which can harm consumer choice for generations to come," the company said in a statement.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by email Tuesday afternoon.

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