Apple has been denied a permanent injunction against Samsung, which would have resulted in 26 smartphone and tablet devices being restricted from sale in the United States.
The verdict was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California , on the grounds that Apple had supplied insufficient evidence that its violated patents were the main reason for the iPhone's success.
“The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote in a statement, reported by Reuters.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple... It does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
Samsung was judged to have violated five Apple patents in August, the most significant ruling in a long-running, global patent dispute between the rival companies. The jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages, but Apple sought a permanent injunction against a large number of Samsung devices.
For the most part, those devices were older models, thereby limiting the injunction's impact on Samsung's sales. However, the injunction became more potentially damaging for Samsung in September, when Apple added the Galaxy S III to the injunction.
At the time of writing, neither Samsung nor Apple had commented on the ruling.