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Australian court clears sale of Samsung Galaxy tab

- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SYDNEY (AP) - Samsung Electronics Co. is closer to selling its new Galaxy tablet computer in Australia after a court on Wednesday overturned an earlier ruling that favored Apple's allegations Samsung had copied its iPad and iPhone.

The Federal Court's decision is a victory for Samsung in its bitter, international patent war with Apple Inc., and might be just in time for the Suwon, South Korea-based company to capitalize on the Christmas shopping season.

In October, Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett granted Apple's request for a temporary injunction against sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, preventing Samsung from selling the device in the country in its current form.

Samsung quickly appealed that decision, and on Wednesday, the court agreed to lift the injunction and allow Galaxy sales to go ahead.

Still, Samsung will have to wait a few more days before it can begin selling the Galaxy, after Apple indicated it would appeal Wednesday's decision to the nation's High Court. Federal Court Justice Lindsay Foster agreed to keep the injunction in place until Friday while that issue is pending.

The battle began in April, when Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. sued Samsung in the United States, alleging the product design, user interface and packaging of Samsung's Galaxy devices "slavishly copy" the iPhone and iPad. Samsung responded by filing its own lawsuits that accused Apple of patent infringement of its wireless telecommunications technology.

The fight has spread to 10 countries, with courts in several nations _ including Germany and the Netherlands _ ruling in favor of Apple.

The case has highlighted the perception that Samsung _ the global No. 1 in TVs and No. 2 in smartphones by sales _ is more of an imitator of clever technologies than an innovator in its own right. Apple, by contrast, is generally viewed by consumers as highly original and inventive.

Lawyers from both sides did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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