Apple wins Australian ban in Samsung tablet case

Oct 13, 2011 - 11:09 1 comment
  • In a file picture taken on July 20, 2011 a South Korean model hold a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 during its launch at the company's main building in Seoul. PHOTO/ AFP

US technology giant Apple on Thursday won a temporary ban on Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, the latest victory in its global battle over patents related to the iPad.

The Federal Court of Australia granted an interim order against the sale of the Galaxy 10.1, ruling that Apple had established a prima facie case that the South Korean company had breached touchscreen technology copyrights.

"Despite the force of Samsung's submissions I have found that Apple has established a prima facie case of infringement of claims of both (its) patent(s)," Justice Annabelle Bennett told the court.

"That is, it has established a probability, not necessarily in a mathematical sense, that it will, on the present evidence, succeed at trial."

Apple won a similar ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany earlier this month related to copyright breaches, and the two companies are locked in an ongoing battle over smartphone and tablet technology in the United States.

Similar disputes are afoot in South Korea.

Bennett ruled that refusing a temporary ban on the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 while a full trial was held into the contested patents would have resulted in "significant" detriment to Apple.

She rejected Samsung's claims that the American technology giant had delayed bringing legal proceedings and said the South Korean firm's own unwillingness to be available for a full hearing in November had weighed against it in the case.

Bennett said Samsung had been aware of the copyright issues since at least April, when Apple launched legal action against the Galaxy 10.1 in the United States, and "proceeded with its eyes wide open" on launching the product in Australia.

"Overall, considering that Apple has established a prima facie case with respect to two separate patents, and that the balance of convenience is marginally in its favour, I am satisfied that it is appropriate to grant the interim injunction," the judge said.

Lawyers for both sides declined to comment outside the court, but Samsung later issued a defiant statement expressing its disappointment at the outcome and vowing not to be deterred.

"Samsung will take all necessary measures including legal action in order to ensure our innovative products are available to consumers," Samsung said.

"This is a part of our ongoing legal proceeding against Apple's claim."

The Korean tech firm said it was "confident" of proving that Apple had violated separate patents belonging to Samsung relating to wireless technology in a cross-claim filed in the Federal Court case.

"Our wireless standard patents are essential for mobile business," Samsung said.

"We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung's patents and free ride on our technology."

Bennett is due to hand down her full findings and rulings in the case on Friday, following talks with the two companies about any evidence they wish to be kept confidential.

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