Apple failed to convince a U.S. judge to block Samsung Electronics from selling some Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the U.S. market, depriving the iPhone and iPad maker of crucial leverage in a global patent battle between the two companies.
In a ruling released late on Friday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung.
Representatives for Apple and Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The two companies are engaged in a bruising legal battle that includes more than 20 cases in 10 countries as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone and tablet markets.
Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets slavishly copies the iPhone and iPad.
But on Friday Koh rejected Apple's bid to ban sales of three smartphone models, as well as the Samsung Tab 10.1.
It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed, Koh wrote.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Yoko Nishikawa)