Bloomberg News

Apple Wins Injunction to Block Samsung Tablet Sales in Australia

October 12, 2011

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. lost a bid to sell its newest tablet computer in Australia until after a patent dispute with Apple Inc. is settled, a decision that means the product may never come to market in the country.

Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett today granted Apple’s request for an injunction barring the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until the two companies’ patent dispute is resolved following a trial.

Samsung had said it would scrap the release of the Galaxy 10.1 if the injunction were granted because missing the Christmas season would make the new tablet “dead” by the time it reached market, Neil Young, a lawyer representing the Suwon, South Korea-based company, told Bennett in Sydney on Oct. 4.

Apple claims the Samsung tablet infringes at least three patents, and its litigation had delayed the release of the Galaxy 10.1 for more than two months in Australia. The dispute is part of a larger battle between the two companies that spans four continents and began in April, when Apple sued in the U.S. and claimed Samsung’s Galaxy products “slavishly” copied the designs of iPhones and iPads.

A German court temporarily banned sales of Galaxy tablets in August, a ruling Samsung has appealed. The two companies are also involved in legal disputes in South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands.

Young said earlier this month that technology changes so quickly that even another month’s delay in the release of the Galaxy 10.1 would threaten the product’s sales prospects. Samsung had offered to agree to a quick trial on Apple’s patent claim if Apple agreed to drop its demand for a ban on the sale of the Galaxy 10.1, Young said. Apple rejected the proposal, he said.

Samsung said a trial can’t be held until next year because it must collect evidence.

The case is: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. NSD1243/2011. Federal Court of Australia (Sydney).

--Editor: Nicholas Wadhams, Anand Krishnamoorthy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net; Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net


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