Apple Inc is facing delays in renewing its request that a U.S. judge ban Samsung Electronics' Galaxy 10.1 tablets, a key battleground in the worldwide patent wars between the technology giants.
Apple sued Samsung last year, accusing the South Korean electronics maker of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the claims and countersued.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, rejected Apple's bid to ban some Samsung smartphones and the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Last month, an appeals court told Koh to reconsider Apple's request regarding the tablet.
Apple promptly asked Koh for a ban once again. But in a brief order on Monday, Koh denied Apple's motion on procedural grounds, saying the appeals court must formally cede jurisdiction back to her before she could consider it.
Once that happens, Apple could refile its request, Koh said, without specifying when the appeals court would relinquish jurisdiction.
A Samsung representative could not immediately be reached for comment, while Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet pointed to an earlier statement saying Samsung's "blatant" copying was wrong.
"Each day that Samsung continues to sell its infringing Tab 10.1 causes additional harm to Apple through design dilution, lost sales, lost market share, and lost future sales of tag-along products," Apple said in a court filing last month.
The chief executives of both Apple and Samsung attended a court ordered mediation in Northern California last month, which failed to produce a settlement.
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