Visitors walk past Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets on display  – Reuters (File Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO: A US federal court has barred the sale of Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, siding with Apple in a bitter dispute between the two tech giants over alleged patent infringement.

The US district court in northern California Tuesday ruled that there was “evidence that Samsung altered its design to make its product look more like Apple's” and that Apple had “presented a strong case” for the injunction.

Samsung said it was “disappointed” with the decision, which the South Korean firm said would “ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the United States.”

Samsung said the preliminary injunction pending further litigation was “based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design.”

"Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted," it said, adding that it would “take necessary legal steps” without elaborating.

The court said it was “unpersuaded by Samsung's arguments.”As a condition of the preliminary injunction, Apple was ordered to post a $2.6 million bond to secure payment of any damages should it be found later that the Samsung product did not infringe on the patent.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment, but in its initial complaint filed in April 2011 it had accused Samsung of having chosen to “slavishly copy” Apple technology in the design of its Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets, which run on Google's Android operating system.


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