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Apple seeks Samsung import ban, hearing delayed until December

An advertisement for Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S smart phone outside the company's headquarters in Seoul September 10, 2010. Sure looks like another phone you’ve heard of.

Truth Leem/REUTERS

A U.S. judge on Tuesday set a December 6 court date to hear Apple Inc.'s request for a permanent injunction against Samsung Electronics' smartphones, which could delay the potential impact of Apple's crushing legal victory.

Apple on Monday identified eight devices it will seek preliminary injunctions against, and said it would file for a permanent sales ban.

A hearing about the preliminary injunctions had been scheduled for September 20 but it is not clear if this issue will be addressed at that hearing or moved to December.

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In an order on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said that due to the scope of Apple's preliminary injunction request, she believed it was "appropriate" that various post-trial motions be consolidated.

The September 20 hearing will be devoted to Samsung's request to dissolve a sales ban against its Galaxy Tab 10.1. The jury sided with Samsung on that part of the case.

Apple's permanent injunction request will be considered in December – after attorneys file detailed legal arguments. Representatives for Apple and Samsung could not immediately be reached for comment.

Apple was awarded $1.05-billion in damages last week after a U.S. jury found Samsung had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad.

The verdict sent Samsung's shares tumbling on Monday as investors fretted about the potential impact to its sales with the peak U.S. holiday season just months away. They have since regained some ground to trade 4.6 per cent below their pre-verdict price.

On Wednesday, Samsung will launch the second generation of its popular Galaxy Note phone-cum-tablet at Europe's biggest electronics show in Berlin later.

The Galaxy Note phablet, Samsung's second most popular smartphone after its flagship Galaxy S, is not included in the list of the potential U.S. sales ban, and Samsung hopes the phablet upgrade will lift any post-Apple gloom at the South Korean group.

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"There won't be huge innovative changes in design, but the Note 2 will feature quite a few improvements and enable Samsung to carry on its strong sales momentum in the category," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "With the launch, Samsung will also be trying to turn around downbeat sentiment after the U.S. legal defeat."

The new version of the Note is expected to feature a thinner and slightly bigger 5.5-inch screen, powerful quad-core processor, the latest version of Google's Android operating system called Jellybean, and improved stylus function.

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