Samsung's Galaxy Tab sales ban lifted in rare Apple patent defeat

Summary:Samsung has won a rare patent battle with Apple in Australia, in an ongoing global legal war between the two tablet and smartphone giants.

Samsung is set to resume selling its Galaxy Tab tablets in Australia after a rare win against Apple in an ongoing, global patent dispute.

An Australian federal appeals court unanimously chose to lift the preliminary sales injunction that banned the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung will not be able to sell its tablets immediately in the region, however. A stay was granted on the order until December 2nd at 4 p.m. local time. While this will reduce its time on the market in the run-up to Christmas, it allows Samsung to gather its pace and issue stock to local retailers.

The ban will allow Samsung to participate in the highly-anticipated Christmas markets, one of the busiest times for shopping in the annual calendar. Though Australia's market is not as large as Germany's or that of the United States, it remains a key market for competing products, including the iPad.

A sales injunction forced Samsung to stop selling its Android-powered tablets in Germany earlier this year, and a court in the Netherlands forced the company to modify some of its smartphone models.

Apple has since filed a preliminary sales injunction request in Germany to force the redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N off the shelves. Samsung has changed the appearance of the tablet to comply with Apple's lawyers' requests in a bid to circumvent the order.

While a rare victory for Samsung, where the seemingly one-sided war has seen Apple prevail in all but every jurisdiction it has brought a claim, it may not have significant impact on other cases around the world.

During the ongoing proceedings, it has been made clear that the Samsung range of tablets offers one of the greatest competitive threats to Apple's iPad, though still a distant second in marketshare statistics.

It was only last week, Justice Lindsay Foster told the Australian appeals court that the initial preliminary sales injunction was "not terribly fair to Samsung".

Read more on this story from ZDNet Australia.

Related:

Topics: Tablets, Apple, iPad, Mobility, Samsung

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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