Samsung two months ago moved to ban iPhone 4S sales in France and Italy as there is no end in sight to its ongoing legal dispute with Apple. Today, however, the South Korean consumer electronics maker has suffered a setback as the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (the first-instance court for all French patent lawsuits) has denied Samsung’s request for a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S, which sold four million units during launch weekend.

The development has been tweeted by French newspaper Le Figaro reporter Benjamin Ferran. The ruling also says Samsung must reimburse Apple’s legal fees of about 100,000 euros. A court in Milan is scheduled to hold a second hearing on December 16 concerning Samsung’s efforts to impose a sales ban on iPhone 4S in Italy.

FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller observes:

If the Italian bid also fails, the time may come for both Apple and Samsung to realize that you can’t win a marathon with a sprint. The problem with those “sprints” — in terms of requests for preliminary injunctions that courts can grant after a fast-track proceeding — is that when they fail, they do nothing to enhance credibility of the respective plaintiff.

The news follows last week’s ruling by a U.S. judge who rejected Apple’s request to banish Samsung smartphones and tablets from the United States.



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