Samsung’s Australian Christmas wish against Apple granted

Just in time for the integral Christmas sales period, despite Apple’s claims of copyright infringement, courts have ruled that Samsung can sell the contentious Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia.

The sales ban, first instituted in October of this year, was one amongst many South Korea’s Samsung has suffered in its global copyright war against the Apple behemoth.

In November, despite another court finding that Samsung could sell the Android powered tablet, Apple was able to get a temporary stay on that order effectively meaning that the ban was still in place. A full bench of the High Court, however, rejected Apple’s attempt to extend the ban.

“Special leave will be refused with costs,” the court declared in its ruling, meaning that Apple would also have to pay Samsung’s legal fees.

The Federal Court, which first initially lifted the ban prior to Apple’s winning the temporary stay, had found that with the “commercial life” of Samsung’s tablet being 12 months, the sales ban had “the practical effect of killing off the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia”.

In a statement to the Australian press, Samsung said the ruling “clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.”

Apple, as to be expected, had a sharply divergent opinion saying “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. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

While different issues have been disputed in various courts in the ten nations hearing Samsung Electronics Co. vs Apple Inc. cases — in the Australian matter the dispute has centered on claims that the 10.1 tablet infringed on some of Apple’s touchscreen patents as seen in iPads.

Though Samsung may celebrate this ruling, a date still has to be set for a full and proper hearing into the copyright infringement claims.

In increasingly desperate statements as the Christmas season approached, Samsung has said that it needs at least seven days to get the 10.1 onto Australian shelves. With this fortuitous ruling, the South Koreans will finally be able to fight for a bite of the Australian tablet market against Apple.

This ban being lifted is a rare win for Samsung which, amongst others, has seen defeats in Germany, the Netherlands and France in its copyright war against Apple.

Globally, the tablet is estimated to be worth US$100 billion.



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