A US judge has denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction against 26 smartphones from rival manufacturer Samsung.
US District Judge Lucy Koh this week ruled that Apple had not presented enough evidence that its patented features drove consumer demand for Samsung products.
Apple had sought a permanent sales ban against the 26 Samsung smartphones that it claimed to willfully infringe on Apple patents.
The patents in dispute involve "data tapping", Siri and unified search technologies, a new slide-to-unlock patent and a word completion patent that speeds up touchscreen text entry.
"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote in her ruling.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
In a previous ruling, Apple successfully imposed two preliminary injunctions in the US against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Both were later reversed in a federal appeals court.
In August, a San Jose court ordered Samsung to pay $US1.05 billion for infringing on Apple's intellectual property.
Apple is expected to appeal the ruling on injunctive relief.
Additional reporting by Dan Levine.