Apple wins preliminary Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban in Australia

Samsung logoAn Australian court has awarded Apple a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from marketing or selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 down under. Though Samsung could still appeal, and the judge is encouraging Samsung to agree to an expedited trial, it appears that in any case the device will be missing from store shelves during the critical holiday shopping season this year.

Among lawsuits pending in several venues across the globe, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement in Australia, seeking a preliminary injunction against its iPad competitor, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple has accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" the design and technology of the iPad and iPhone to create its Galaxy Tab tablets and Galaxy S series smartphones.

While the case was winding through Australian courts, Samsung agreed on at least two occasions to voluntarily delay the introduction of the device in the country until a judgement was issued regarding a preliminary injunction. Samsung even offered a proposed settlement in order to quell the injunction request until a full trial could proceed. Apple ultimately rejected Samsung's offer.

In her decision, federal justice Annabelle Bennett said that Apple had made a prima facie case that Samsung's tablet infringed Apple's touch-related patents. "From April 15 when proceedings commenced in the US, Samsung proceeded with its eyes wide open," she said. The full details of the decision have not been publicly released pending redaction requests from both Apple and Samsung.

The injunction will remain in effect until a full trial on the patent infringement issues has concluded. Justice Bennett encouraged Samsung to agree to an expedited trial, but the company has so far claimed it needs more time to mount a defense against Apple. The company is also countersuing Apple over claimed infringement of standards-essential 3G networking patents, though that strategy could have some serious legal pitfalls.

The Australian injunction is the third injunction Apple has won against Samsung globally so far. A German court issued a similar ban against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 while a Dutch court issued a preliminary injunction against several Samsung smartphones in The Netherlands. Samsung claimed this week that it has already developed a software workaround for the Dutch injunction, however, and it is also attempting to have Apple's EU Community Design registration for the iPad invalidated.

A hearing for Apple's request for a preliminary junction in the US—its most comprehensive case against Samsung thus far—starts Thursday morning.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, iPad, legal action, Samsung, tablets

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