A court in Washington, D.C., Thursday overturned an injunction issued by a lower court that prevented the sale of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

The ruling by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals means that Samsung can resume selling the phone until its patent infringement battle with Apple Inc. is resolved.

The case now goes back before the lower court in California, which had granted the original order after Apple argued that Samsung had infringed on eight of its patents.

The Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the California judge had no legal grounds to issue the order and "abused its discretion in entering an injunction."

The Nexus has since been superseded by the release of the Galaxy S III.

A federal jury in California found on Aug. 24 that 26 Samsung products ripped off Apple's technology at the heart of its iPhones and iPads and granted $1 billion US in damages.

The judge in the lower U.S. District in California, Lucy Koh, has scheduled a Dec. 6 hearing to discuss the issues raised by both companies.

Apple wants damages increased

Samsung wants the $1-billion award set aside on the grounds of insufficient proof and has said it will appeal if Koh turns down its demands.

Apple is seeking an additional $707 million in damages and interest.

The two companies are locked in a ferocious struggle for supremacy in the global smartphone market.

Samsung is the worldwide leader in smartphone sales, securing a market share of 33 per cent in the second quarter, up from 17 per cent a year ago. Apple's fell slightly to 17 per cent, from 19 per cent a year ago.

With files from The Associated Press