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October 12, 2011

Apple wins temporary sales ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab in Australia

Injunction comes at a time when festive season sales are to kick off; South Korean company 'disappointed'

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple has won a patent battle with South Korean electronics company Samsung in a Federal Court in Australia, which has temporarily banned the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country.

Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett granted Apple’s request for an injunction barring the sale of the tablet device in Australia until the two companies’ patent dispute is resolved following a trial, said a Bloomberg report.

Bennett said in the ruling that the temporary injunction is justified in part because Apple had a sufficient likelihood of winning the trial against Samsung, according to AP.

"We are disappointed with this ruling and Samsung will be seeking legal advice on its options," Samsung said. "Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple’s claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers."

The timing of the injunction could significantly harm Samsung’s sales prospects in Australia. The company has said earlier that the new tablet would effectively be dead if it is launched after Christmas.

Though Apple is still a leader in the tablet market which it created, Samsung has risen sharply with new tablets powered by Google’s Android OS. Samsung is also a supplier of chips and LCD displays for phones and mobile devices, with Apple being one of its clients.

Apple and Samsung are fighting a patent dispute across four continents. In August, a German court temporarily banned sales of Galaxy tablets in the country. August. Samsung has appealed the ruling. The two companies are also involved in patent disputes in South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands.

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Samsung has said that it would seek a sales ban on Apple’s newly released iPhone4S in France and Italy.

While Apple claims Samsung’s Galaxy products "slavishly" copied the designs of iPhones and iPads, the South Korean company says that Apple is taking the battle to courts because it fears competition. Samsung also accuses Apple of patent infringement of its wireless telecommunications technology.

In April this year, Apple sued Samsung alleging that the South Korean company’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers infringe patents and copy the trademarked design of its iPhone and iPad.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Oakland, California, Apple had said Samsung products infringe seven patents in user interface, including selecting, scrolling, pinching and zooming, and three patents on the design, including the flat black face of the iPhone and iPad.

Apple had said the blatant copying of its products is a deliberate attempt to benefit from its research.

Apple had said in its lawsuit, "When a Samsung Galaxy phone is used in public, there can be little doubt that it would be viewed as an Apple product based upon the design alone."

"It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging."

"Instead of pursuing independent product development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple’s valuable intellectual property rights," Apple said.

Samsung refuted the claims and responded within a week by suing Apple over patent infringements. The company said that Apple’s iPhone and iPad infringe 10 mobile technology patents.

Samsung has also filed the patent lawsuits in South Korea, Japan and Germany which included power reduction during data transmission, 3G technology for reducing errors during data transmission, and wireless data communication technology.

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