Italian court denies preliminary iPhone 4S ban

Apple’s iPhone 4S (s aapl) won’t be blocked for sale in Italy, at least not in the near-term. A Milan court rejected Samsung’s request for a preliminary injunction against the device on Thursday, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency. Samsung had requested a ban in Italy and France in October of 2011, immediately following Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 4S.

A French court ruled in December that Apple wouldn’t have to stop selling its iPhone 4S, calling Samsung’s request “disproportionate” in scope. As Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents notes, this new Italian ruling marks the third time Samsung’s attempts to have Apple products banned in Europe have been rejected. Apple, for its part, has had limited success in securing preliminary injunctions in Germany and the Netherlands. But those could backfire, Mueller notes, should later rulings find in favor of Samsung, in which case Apple could be liable for damages.

Two patents are at issue in the Italian case related to wireless communication tech, but the case represents just one of many ongoing actions between Apple and Samsung worldwide over many more patents, with no apparent end in sight. Recently, I wrote about how a broad cross-licensing agreement might be best for both parties, and given the limited progress both sides seem to be making, that still seems like a worthwhile consideration.