Samsung tablet ban extended in Australia

SYDNEY - Australia's High Court Friday extended a ban on selling Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet for at least another week, despite a lower court allowing the device to compete in stores with Apple's iPad.

The Australian case is one of several patent tussles going on around the world between Samsung and Apple as they seek to dominate the US$100 billion (S$128 billion) market for tablet computers and smartphones.

The Federal Court in Sydney Wednesday lifted a temporary ban on the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, pending a full hearing into whether the device copies the iPad.

But Apple immediately won a stay of orders and requested the High Court prolong the injunction.

A spokeswoman for the High Court said Justice Dyson Heydon had expedited the matter into the special leave list in Sydney set for next Friday.

"He also extended the stay - which prevents Samsung from selling its Galaxy tablet - until the determination of the application for special leave to appeal," she said.

The South Korean electronics giant has previously said, through its Australian lawyer, that any extension of the ban "simply serves to prolong the injustice suffered by Samsung".

But Apple claims the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which has not yet been sold in Australia, infringes 13 of its patents.

The temporary injunction was initially granted in October on a finding that Apple had established a prima facie case that the device breached two patents related to touchscreen technology.

It was overturned by a full bench federal court which noted that further delaying the sale of the Galaxy would effectively "kill off" the device. The date for the full hearing has not been set.

Samsung and Apple are engaged in an ongoing battle over smartphone and tablet technology in the United States, Japan and South Korea. Apple recently won a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany related to copyright breaches.