An injunction would prevent Apple from selling phone until the court could decide on the validity of Samsung’s claims, at which time either Apple would be cleared, or a permanent ban would be placed. A permanent ban could be overcome by either modification of the product to avoid use of the offending patents, or by securing a license agreement with Samsung for the patents in question.
Samsung is also facing several lawsuits by Apple, and presumably wants to be able to negotiate a cross-licensing agreement that would produce a truce in their legal affairs. A preliminary injunction can provide extra leverage in such negotiations, although a company that thinks it can win or avoid the patents may take the initial sales hit. Samsung recently modified its Galaxy Tab 10.1 to comply with a ruling by a German court.
Apple would not be able to easily modify the iPhone 4S, as the patents in question are necessary for 3G connectivity. For this reason, Apple has been invoking a FRAND defense against Samsung; FRAND laws require that companies with patents that enable industry standards must make their patents available to a company at a reasonable cost.
According to patent law observer Florian Mueller the French court appears sympathetic to Apple’s FRAND claims, so he believes Apple has a better than even chance of avoiding an injunction in France.
source: FOSS Patents via electronista