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Apple may file for temporary restraining order against Galaxy S III

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During a hearing involving Apple's suit against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus on Thursday an attorney for the iPhone maker said that a temporary restraining order against the South Korean company's Galaxy S III could be used to block sales of the device before it reaches U.S. shores.

The restraining order filing could come as early as Friday, though Judge Lucy Koh who is presiding over the Nexus case said that it might not be possible to schedule a hearing for the request before the product is launched later this month, reports Bloomberg.

"Once sales are made, the harm is irreparable," Apple lawyer Josh Krevitt said.

Samsung has reportedly racked up over 9 million pre-orders for the next-generation handset and the unit is already on sale in 28 countries across Europe and the Middle East.

Apple on Tuesday filed to enjoin the Galaxy S III with the suit being heard on Thursday, claiming that the device is a successor to the Galaxy Nexus handset co-developed by Samsung and Google. Samsung immediately filed a formal opposition and Judge Koh said that she would not deal with the S III argument today and will instead focus on the Nexus. It is unclear when the judge will decide to hear Apple's request to to enjoin the Galaxy S III, but it appears unlikely to happen before the June 21 launch date.

Samsung's Galaxy S III. | Source: Samsung

Thursday's hearing is still underway and further findings will be reported as they develop.