Apple Wins Temporary Galaxy Tab 10.1 Ban in Australia

Apple won another victory against Samsung in Australia by convincing a court to issue a temporary injunction blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country. The two companies have been fighting legal battles in several countries over claims that they are infringing on each other’s mobile device patents.

The ruling is bad news for Samsung because it likely won’t be able to get a new ruling in time for the holiday buying season, and the device could be essentially obsolete by the time it works out a deal.

Apple blocks Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in AustraliaApple blocks Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over patent infringement claims for several months. Both companies have alleged that the other’s mobile devices use patented technologies without proper licensing, and have filed lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and other countries.

A German court recently upheld an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country, and the company filed an appeal in hopes of overturning that ruling. Apple was also awarded a temporary injunction through a Dutch court blocking the sale of some Galaxy devices in the European Union.

Once of the patents Apple used as part of its injunction argument describes touchscreen heuristics, according to Florian Mueller of Foss Patents, which could lead to even more headaches for Samsung and any other company that plans to bring Android-based devices to Australia.

“After today’s decision, I believe no company in the industry be able to launch any new Android-based touchscreen product in Australia anytime soon without incurring a high risk of another interim injunction,” Mr. Mueller said. “The two patents on which today’s ruling is based aren’t Galaxy Tab 10.1-specific at all. They will affect all Android-based smartphones and tablet computers, across all vendors.”

He added that should Apple win a permanent injunction based on those patents, Google and other smartphone makers would have to strike a deal with the company to launch any Android-based devices in Australia.

The Australian Court ruling comes only hours ahead of a U.S. court hearing where Apple is hoping to win yet another injunction against Samsung. Should the U.S. District Court in California side with Apple, Samsung could be facing a nation-wide ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, as well as the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G and Droid Charge smartphones.

Apple has not commented on the temporary injunction in Australia.