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Galaxy Tab injunction looms as court denies Samsung rehearing petition

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Apple's bid to temporarily ban U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 moved one step closer to being granted on Tuesday as the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a request from the South Korean electronics giant to rehear the case.

The CAFC denial opens the door for Apple to refile its original preliminary injunction motion after California Judge Lucy Koh initially shelved the request two weeks ago pending receipt of an official federal mandate. Apple is closing in on the tablet ban after traversing a bumpy road of rejections and appeals as the California district court judge is set to make a decision after hearings later this week, reports FOSS Patents.

Tuesday's rejection comes one month after the CAFC partially granted Apple's appeal of a December 2011 ruling in which Judge Koh handed down a wholesale rejection of requests to ban Samsung products that allegedly mimic the design iPhone and iPad. Apple quickly attempted to refile for a Galaxy Tab sales ban but the effort was quashed.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denies Samsung request for rehearing.

While May decision overturned part of the initial ruling against the injunction requests and allowed Apple to reassert claims against the Galaxy Tab, Samsung lawyers convinced Judge Koh that it would be premature to issue an injunction without first receiving formal mandate from the CAFC. In response, the iPhone maker asked the CAFC "to Issue the Mandate Forthwith or Shorten the Time to File a Petition for Panel Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc" but the court deferred the motion, saying:

"In light of Appellees' [i.e., Samsung's] representation that they will file a petition for rehearing on May 29, 2012, the court will defer ruling for now on Appellant's [i.e., Apple's] motion to issue the mandate forthwith."

This ultimately led to the decision handed down on Tuesday which should be followed up shortly by the official mandate Judge Koh has been waiting for in order to move forward with the injunction. Florian Mueller believes that a tight schedule will be set for the upcoming proceedings given Samsung's previous intent to seek a rehearing.

Apple and Samsung are set to meet in the California court again on Thursday for a hearing on the two parties' summary judgment requests in an attempt to whittle down the scope of the trial.