The patent war between Samsung and Apple continued in the land down under when an Australian court placed a temporary ban on sales of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy 10.1 Tablet on Thursday. While the legal nod to Apple may be temporary, it does give the company another victory over Samsung.
It will take time to resolve Apple’s initial lawsuit against Samsung, so with the additional delay of the injunction it is even more likely that Samsung will never sell the Galaxy tablet in Australia.
Even though the Australian market isn’t particularly large, “The ruling could further extend Apple’s dominance in the tablet market as it widens a sales ban of Samsung’s latest product,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities in Seoul.
Sydney’s Federal Court ruled granted the temporary ban on the basis of two of Apple’s patents. Judge Annabelle Bennett stated, “I am satisfied that it is appropriate to grant an interim injunction, however I propose again the opportunity of an early final hearing on the issues presented in this application.”
Samsung issued a statement of disappointment regarding the injunction. The company’s next steps are either to appeal the ban or pursue a quick final ruling on the entire matter. Samsung claims to need more time to prepare its defense. They don’t want to rush to the final ruling with inadequate preparation and lose. This means that they will have to sit out Christmas gift-giving season in Australia.
Australia isn’t the only theater of battle. Since the legal conflict started last April, it has spread to 10 countries, with lawsuits involving tablets and smartphones. Apple succeeded in blocking Samsung from selling the Galaxy tablet in Germany, and also won a case in the Netherlands that lead Samsung to rework some smartphone models.
Next the patent war moves to California. “None of the two patents will be at issue later today at a hearing in California on Apple’s motion for a U.S.-wide preliminary injunction,” said intellectual property expert Florian Mueller. “But the Australian ruling nevertheless adds to Apple’s ‘copycat’ story and increases the likelihood of an injunction in the U.S.”