Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Today, Samsung won a reversal of the sales ban on the Galaxy Nexus phone imposed after Apple’s August court win. Also today, Apple won at least a stay of execution on the iPhone and iPad sales ban imposed after Samsung’s August legal victory.

The first case is in the U.S.; the second is in Korea.

It’s getting hard to tell these patent infringement cases apart. By some counts, which may not be completely comprehensive, 19 lawsuits were ongoing between Apple and Samsung in nine different countries on four continents — last year. This year, with appeals, refilings, and potential new frontiers in different countries, the count may go even higher.

But at least we have patent peace in Antarctica.

Above: Google hasn’t been selling the Nexus for a few months now …

The Samsung Nexus ban stemmed from Apple’s billion-dollar win in August in which a jury found that Samsung willfully infringed on the Cupertino, Calif., company’s patents. But as Reuters reported, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the California court had “abused its discretion in entering an injunction.”

I suppose that means Google will be selling the Nexus again at some point.

The iPhone/iPad sales ban stemmed from Samsung’s whopping $35,000 win in a Korean court that ruled Apple had infringed two of the Korean company’s patents, while Samsung had violated one of Apple’s. The bigger punch in that court decision, of course, was the threatened import ban, which Apple has now, at least, delayed.

Interestingly, the Korean court had also banned Samsung’s Nexus and Galaxy Tab tablets in a probably healthy “pox on both houses” attitude that could stand a visit to courthouses Stateside.

Both bans, and both reversals, will almost certainly face tests in further legal battles. Samsung will likely appeal its billion-dollar loss, and Apple must respond to the Korean ban, which has just been stayed, not lifted.

The soap opera continues. …