Samsung Galaxy Tab ban lifted in time for Christmas

A High Court today discharged the interlocutory injunction preventing Samsung from selling the device in Australia

Samsung will finally be able to launch its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet just in time for Christmas after the High Court today lifted the ban preventing its sale in Australia and refused Apple’s expedited special leave application.

The Korean manufacturer last week won an appeal to overturn the ban on the tablet, after the full bench of the Federal Court, comprising Justice Foster, Justice Dowsett and Justice Yates, discharged the interlocutory injunction.

However, the win was shortlived after Apple was granted a stay, which suspended proceedings until the High Court hearing on 2 December, the result of which was an extension on the ban for another week.

The injunction was initially granted by primary judge, Justice Annabelle Bennett, back on 30 October on the basis that the balance of convenience fell in Apple’s favour in relation to both touchscreen and heuristics patents.

The full bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Gummow, Justice French and Justice Bell, today ruled in Samsung’s favour, quashing Apple’s hopes to appeal the Federal Court decision on the interlocutory injunction in the High Court.

“Special leave will be refused with costs for the application for a stay and expedition, the result is that the orders of the full court discharge and injunctive relief granted by the primary judge,” Justice French told the court.

Head counsel for Apple, Stephen Burley SC, argued unsuccessfully that the full Federal Court had only one day to hear the case upon which it based its decision and this resulted in error.

Samsung will begin selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet as soon as Monday with the company issuing official pricing and availability details for the device.

“As the High Court has today rejected Apple’s leave to appeal, Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased to announce the highly anticipated Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 will be available in stores in time for the Christmas shopping period,” the company said in a statement.

Pricing for the device will be $579 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and $729 for 16GB 3G-equipped tablet.

“Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased with today’s judgment by the High Court of Australia to deny Apple’s request to appeal the decision of the Full Court.

“The Full Court of Australia decision on November 30 clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the GALAXY Tab 10.1.”

Apple has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of writing.

The legal battle between the companies has also raged offshore, with ongoing cases in Europe, Asia and North America.

Samsung has flagged plans to file court injunctions in France and Italy in an attempt to block the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S. The preliminary injunctions will request the courts block the smartphone from being sold in France and Italy, alleging infringement of wireless telecommunications patents.

Samsung also flagged plans to launch a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, after sales of the original were banned by a German court.

The company has not yet decided on the exact launch date for the modified tablet, Samsung spokesperson Jose Suh said on Thursday, but the new device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, has already appeared for sale on the websites of German retailers.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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