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Samsung Galaxy Tab Ban Extended Down Under

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Australian court bans Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for another week so Apple can launch high court appeal

Apple and Samsung’s legal battle over the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has taken another twist after an Australian court reinstated the ban on the device by at least another week.

On Wednesday, the Australian federal court unanimously agreed to overturn the ban, increasing Samsung’s hope of getting the device out in time for Christmas, but this latest setback puts this in doubt.

Can Samsung Save Its Christmas?

The prohibition on the sale of the Galaxy Tab was due to expire at 0500 GMT today, but it has been extended until 9 December so that the high court can hear Apple’s final appeal.

The federal court had ruled that the ban was “clearly wrong” but Justice John Dyson Heydon ruled that the orders made should “be stayed pending the termination of applicants application for special leave to appeal.”

An Australian patent lawyer told Reuters that the court was likely to decide next week whether Samsung will be able to resume sales before a final hearing due next year, when the technology may be obsolete.

Samsung said in a statement that it believed Apple had no basis for appeal and would “vigorously” oppose it in court.

Tablet Wars

The Australian lawsuit is just one of 20 such legal battles in 10 countries that Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released in July to positive reviews, with readers of eWEEK Europe declaring it to be their favourite tablet in a recent poll.

However Apple was not such a big fan of the product, viewing it as an imitation of its market leading iPad; in August, the company succeeded in gaining a preliminary junction against the sale of the device in all European Union countries except the Netherlands.

Things got worse for Samsung when a German court decided to permanently forbid the sale of the tablet in September, but in an effort to circumvent this ban, the Korean manufacturer announced plans to release a modified version of the device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which featured a number of design alterations.