SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with Samsung Electronics (NasdaqOTH: SSNLF) in one aspect of its ongoing patent dispute with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday overturned a judge's order blocking Samsung from selling its Galaxy Nexus smart phone pending a patent lawsuit by Apple.

Apple accuses Samsung of stealing its smartphone and tablet computer technology.

A jury in September agreed with the company and ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion. Samsung has moved to set the judgment aside.

In its Thursday ruling, the appeals court said Apple had failed to show that any of the patent violations it accused Samsung of in regards to the Galaxy would immediately and irreparably hurt its own smart phone sales. It said Judge Lucy Koh had abused her discretion in granting Apple a preliminary injunction earlier this year.

The decision allowed Samsung to continue selling the Galaxy Nexus.

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