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Samsung Galaxy Nexus eludes sales ban...for now

As the Apple v. Samsung trial heats up, an appeals court has extended the delay on a sales ban on the Nexus smartphone.

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus
James Martin/CNET

Consumers eyeing Samsung's Galaxy Nexus will continue to find the phone available for sale.

Samsung scored a minor victory this week by continuing to escape a ban on the popular smartphone, at least for the time being. On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Samsung by extending the suspension of the preliminary injunction on the Nexus.

To recount the play-by-play action, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh had given the nod to Apple in June by granting its request for the temporary ban on the Nexus based on claims that the phone had infringed on several Apple patents.

Samsung appealed the ruling on July 1, but Judge Koh denied the request for a temporary lifting of the ban, while Apple posted a $95.6 million bond required for the ban. Such a bond covers losses to Samsung should the final ruling be found in its favor.

Samsung then went past Koh directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to plead its case. The appeals court granted a temporary stay on the Nexus ban. Monday's decision now extends that stay until August 20 when a hearing will take place so the court can make a final decision on Samsung's appeal.

"In practical terms, this means (as the order clarifies) that the temporary stay (a stay until the court has decided on the motion to stay the injunction for the entire duration of the appeal) remains in effect," Foss Patents' Florian Mueller said on Monday.

The court didn't indicate how long after the hearing it will make its decision. Mueller believes a motion will simply come whenever the court feels it has enough information and has given the matter enough thought.

Though Mueller considers the extension of the stay "moderately favorable to Samsung," the onus could easily be on the company to further prove its case.

'"Since the appeal can be adjudicated anytime after the August 20 hearing, it would make sense to just stay the injunction for the remainder of the appeals process given that a disruption of its sales is clearly more harmful to Samsung than an extended stay is to Apple," Mueller explained. "If the court needs more information to decide on the motion to stay, Samsung must make some more headway to prevail on its appeal."

Apple and Samsung are currently duking it out in Judge Koh's courtroom in San Jose, but that trial concerns a different case than the Nexus sales ban matter, according to Mueller. So any action or ruling in one shouldn't affect the other.