Apple Loses Latest Patent Claim in Australian Courts

Some good news for Samsung as they won a decision to overturn a previous Australian Federal Court order, which has seen a ban on sales of their Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, but their rival Apple, who brought the order, is expected to appeal.

The Federal Court unanimously reversed a previous Federal Court Judge’s ruling which came last month and banned Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia.

There was one grain of hope for Apple as the judge gave them a short stay, meaning the ban will remain until 4pm tomorrow. But, Samsung lawyer Peter Chalk opposed the stay, saying it served ”to prolong the injustice held against Samsung”.

This decision is a major boost for the company, who will hope their tablet performs well over the lucrative Christmas period. But, this is the first in a long line of judgements to come from courts around the world.

Apple and Samsung are involved in legal battles in 10 countries involving patent infringements for both smartphones and tablets. Today’s dispute centred around the touch-screen technology used in Samsung’s new tablet.

In a statement, Samsung Electronics Australia said that it was very pleased with the unanimous decision to lift the preliminary injunction, stating “clearly affirms that Apple’s legal claims lack merit.

The company said that an announcement of when Australian consumers will be able to get the tablet will be coming very soon.

The current legal battles have strained relations between the two companies with many predicting that some of the pair’s $5 billion-plus supply contracts may be up for grabs – ironically Samsung counts Apple as its biggest customer and makes parts central to Apple’s mobile devices. How long this will continue remains to be seen, but we’d expect Apple to go elsewhere for screens in the future.

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