Samsung Wins Tablet Tiff In Oz, But US Fight Goes On

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Australian High Court rejects Apple’s appeal to extend Galaxy Tab ban, but US no-ban decision is appealed

Apple’s bid to block sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Australia appears to be over but its quest for an injunction in the US progresses after it was revealed it is to appeal the decision not to ban the device.

Apple’s belief that Samsung has infringed on a number of its patents and that the Korean manufacturer’s products resemble too closely the iPhone and iPad has spawned a worldwide legal battle which now spans over 20 lawsuits in 10 countries.

Around the world

Apple was granted a temporary ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in October, but Samsung appealed this decision and the ban was rescinded in the Australian federal court – which unanimously decided that the ban had been “clearly wrong”.

A last minute reprieve was given to Apple as the ban was extended for another week to allow them to prepare for their final appeal to the Australian High Court. This final bid for a ban has been rejected, clearing the way for Samsung to sell the Galaxy Tab just in time for Christmas.

However the fight against Samsung in the US continues as Apple has appealed the decision made by the US District Court of Northern California not to issue an injunction against the sale of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets.

Although District Judge Lucy Koh admitted that Apple was likely to prove that Samsung infringed one of its patents, she said it had not shown that it was likely to defeat Samsung’s challenges to the patent’s validity, and it must show both to win its case. But analyst Florian Mueller believes that there is a good chance that the appeal could be successful.

Good chance

“I think [Koh] mis-assessed and possibly even mis-defined the relevant market and competitive dynamics,” commented Meuller.

“Apple has a pretty good chance here that the Federal Circuit will find some serious flaws in Judge Koh’s reasoning on the equitable factors. A critical reader of her ruling can’t help but conclude that her denial of injunctive relief is not well-reasoned to say the least,” he continued. “But even if Apple didn’t win a preliminary injunction through its appeal, I think at least some of Judge Koh’s reasoning will very likely be overturned.”

Mueller also stated that any change in the ruling would assist Apple in its case for a permanent injunction when the two companies go to court in July next year.

Apple has been able to get a permanent ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, claiming that the design of the tablet imitates the iPad. However, in an effort to circumvent this ban, Samsung has released a modified version of the device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N which features a number of patent-suit-beating design alterations.

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