Apple wins Samsung tablet sales ban in Australia

Apple has won a preliminary sales injunction against Samsung in Australia, blocking the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from hitting store shelves and leaving the Korean company to face either a 2012 trial or scrapping the slate altogether. The federal court judge decided in favor of Apple's claims that Samsung infringed on two patents the company holds, SMH reports, concluding "there were several factors that favoured Apple."

Samsung had previously told the court that, even though the threatened injunction was only a temporary one until a full trial could be held, the time delays involved in that would leave it no choice but to axe the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. In missing the holiday sales season, Samsung argued, the Android slate would be "dead" on arrival. The company's official statement makes no mention of those intentions, though does insist that the Korean firm will continue to pursue a separate claim against Apple in which Samsung alleges infringement around wireless standard patents.

"Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple's claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers. This is a part of our ongoing legal proceeding against Apple's claim. Samsung is also confident it can prove Apple's violation of Samsung's wireless technology patents through a cross-claim filed on September 16, 2011 with the Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales. Our wireless standard patents are essential for mobile business. We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung's patents and free ride on our technology" Samsung statement

Apple, meanwhile, merely reiterated its earlier comments, pointing out that "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." Samsung's legal team had argued that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would primarily be judged by consumers against other Android Honeycomb tablets, something Apple's team strongly disagreed with.

Both firms will return to the Australian courts on Friday, Bloomberg reports, with the judge ruling on whether Samsung can release a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that avoids the patents Apple complained about. Samsung had previously offered Apple a potential deal, promising a swifter trial on the wireless standard patents if Apple agreed to drop its demands for a ban; however the Cupertino firm declined.

Tensions between the two companies escalated earlier this week, when Samsung launched a pop-up store offering the Galaxy S II for just $2 meters away from the Sydney Apple Store. Two rival queues began to form, one looking for a cut-price Android while the other waited for the new iPhone 4S, which goes on sale this Friday.