A U.S. District Court has handed Apple a victory against one of its biggest competitors in the smartphone market by blocking U.S. sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus phone, which went on sale in the United States in mid-December.
This is the second Samsung Galaxy product blocked by Koh this week: On Tuesday, she granted Apple a preliminary injunction against U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
But this time Samsung isn't alone. The Galaxy Nexus is practically the official Google smartphone at this point -- it carries Google's Nexus brand name and is sold through the company's Google Playstore.
Koh granted the injunction after Apple argued that the Galaxy Nexus phone caused it irreparable harm due to long-term market-share loss and "losses of downstream sales," according to The Next Web.
Reuters reporter Dan Levine described the scene in the courtroom after the injunction was granted: The lawyer representing Samsung, John Quinn, had a long face, and Apple's attorney Mike Jacobs was smiling.
"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," an Apple spokeswoman said in an email. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
Neither Samsung nor Google responded to a request for comment.
[Updated, June 29, 5:20 p.m.: Google emailed a response regarding the preliminary injunction. "We're disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light," the company said.]
[For the record, June 29, 5:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the Galaxy Nexus phone began selling in the U.S. in late April. In fact, it went on sale in the U.S. in mid-December through Verizon. The Google Play store began selling it in late April.]