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Australia court bans sale of Samsung tablet in Apple dispute

Samsung

In series of bitter patent disputes that span four continents, chalk this up as a victory for Apple: An Australian court has temporarily banned the sale of rival Samsung's latest tablet computer pending resolution of a case involving touch-screen technology.

The federal court judge granted Apple a temporary injunction against Samsung blocking the sale of its Galaxy Tablet 10.1 during a legal battle centering on patents, Reuters reported.

In August, Samsung agreed to suspend sales in Australia of the tablet until the dispute was resolved with either a settlement or court order. Although on the surface that means the judge's decision won't have an immediate effect on Samsung, it could deal the company a serious blow in the Australian market at the cusp of the crucial holiday shopping season.

The patent wars between the tech companies began in April after Apple sued Samsung in San Francisco for alleged patent infringements over its lines of Galaxy tablets and phones, arguing that they resembled the look and feel of the iPad and iPhone.

The tit for tat spread to Europe, as well as Japan and South Korea. The patent suits have prompted a temporary sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones across 30 European countries. Samsung said this month that it would request a preliminary sales ban on Apple's iPhone 4S in France and Italy because of patent infringement.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: A South Korean model holds a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 during its launch at the company's main building in Seoul. Credit: Park Ji-Hwan / AFP/Getty Images

 
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