Request denied: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be on sale in Australia prior to Christmas, after a High Court ruled against Apple’s application to have the tab blocked.
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This follows a three-judge unanimous ruling from the Federal Court earlier this month, which lifted the ban on the Galaxy 10.1 imposed by Judge Annabelle Bennett in October last, following claims by Apple that the 10.1 tablet infringed on at least three iPad patents.
However, Apple sought special leave for an appeal to the High Court last week, claiming it would suffer “immediate and irreparable harm” should the rival Tab be made legal, on the grounds that the device infringes on its intellectual patents and “slavishly” copies the market leading iPad 2.
Apple argued against today’s judgement, saying it was “replete with error” and that the original injunction banning the device was correct.
One of the High Court Judges declared Apple was only granted the preliminary ban by the “skin of its teeth” and was partly due to the Koreans being punished for not agreeing to an early hearing, reports Fairfax Media.
Read FINALLY: Samsung Galaxy Tab To Challenge iPad 2 Price, Specs Here
The Galaxy maker said it was pleased with today’s outcome.
“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,” Samsung Australia said in a statement following the ruling.
“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.”
And a victorious Samsung has also confirmed the pricing for the Android Honeycomb tablet, tipped as Apple biggest rival, starting at $579 for 16GB WiFi variant – the identical price of a 16GB iPad 2.
“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 from a RRP of $579 (16GB WiFi variant) and a RRP of $729 (16GB 3G variant).”
No word from the main retailers yet as to when Tab 10.1 will hit the shelves, but we hope to ascertain this later today.
A full court hearing between the two tech foes is pencilled in for next March in Australia, where it will argue over its intellectual patents and the possible ban of the Samsung Tab, once again.
Sasmung also countersued Apple and is seeking the ban of the iPhone 4S, claiming the smartphone infringes on its 3G wireless patents.
So, could this latest ruling affect the final legal outcome between the parties next year? Not so, says Chris Baxter, from Baxter IP Lawyers.
“A decision to grant an injunction in Australia relies on a balance of convenience to both parties being in favour of the patentee, in this case – Apple.”
“One factor in the balance of convenience equation is the likelihood that the relevant patents are infringed.”
“So, as the question of patent infringement, which is the subject of the full court hearing next March, was just one factor in the decision as to whether an injunction was appropriate, it is not indicative of how the final decision regarding patent infringement might fall,” Baxter told SmartHouse today.
“The questions to be answered at the final court hearing include: do the features of the Galaxy Tab fall within the ambit of the claims of the Apple patents and are the claims of the Apple patents new and not obvious in light of prior public documents / acts.”
Interesting times ahead.