By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge rejected Apple Inc's latest bid for a permanent injunction against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in another sign of the diminishing impact of the smartphone patent wars.
Apple won a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung earlier this year over three Apple patents. However, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, on Wednesday denied Apple's request to stop Samsung from selling infringing features on its smartphones related to those patents.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. In a statement, Samsung said it welcomed the ruling. "We remain committed to providing American consumers with a wide choice of innovative products," Samsung said.
Until this year, the two leaders in mobile technology had been engaged in global patent litigation over Samsung's phones that use Google's Android operating system. However, Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this month to drop all patent lawsuits outside the United States.
In her ruling on Monday, Koh ruled that Apple's reputation as an innovator "has proved extremely robust" despite Samsung's patent infringement.
"Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction," Koh wrote.
Samsung is still appealing the result of a blockbuster 2012 trial over a separate batch of patents, with Samsung seeking to undo $930 million in damages. And while Apple says those damages should stand, the iPhone maker is no longer asking an appeals court to revive its bid for a permanent sales ban against several older Samsung phones.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, 12-630.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernard Orr and Cynthia Osterman)
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