Samsung scored yet another court victory against competitor Apple when a U.S. federal appeals court upheld on Monday the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denying Apple's request to ban sale of Samsung phones in the U.S.

The ban sought by Apple was over three design patents and general appearance of its iPhones.


However, the court allowed Apple another chance to curb the sales of Samsung in the highly competitive $279.9-billion market if it could prove the features that make Apple's iPhones unique, such as its multitouch technology, were a factor customers use in picking a smartphone.

The judge said that Apple must prove that each of the three features drove the sales of the smartphones.

"To the extent these statement reflect the view that Apple was necessarily required to show that a patented feature is the sole reason for consumers' purchase, the court erred ... Rather than show that a patented feature is the exclusive reason for consumer demand, Apple must show some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung's products," the three-judge panel in Washington wrote.

Actually, many of the phones involved in the case are no longer in the market. But in another Apple lawsuit in the U.S. against Samsung being handled by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh and slated for trial in March, it may include newer Samsung models such as the Galaxy S III.

Apple would likely argue that the newer phones are the same products with new names.