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The Australian Federal Court has granted Apple an injunction to block tech rival Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Apple is suing Samsung for patent infringement, arguing the firm “slavishly” copied its market-leading iPad tablet.

Justice Annabelle Bennett today said Apple had a prima facie case that Samsung had infringed two of its patents relating to touch screens and the gestures that control them.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be blocked from sale in Australia.

Justice Bennett said: “From April 15 when proceedings commenced in the US, Samsung proceeded with its eyes wide open.

“The balance of convenience was almost even … there were several factors that favoured Apple.”

The interlocutory hearing, which considered whether Samsung’s competing tablet should be banned from the Australian market, revealed for the first time how serious a threat Apple regards Samsung to be.

Samsung previously agreed not to market nor sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until Justice Bennett handed down her decision.

On October 4, Samsung told the court it would scrap the release of the Galaxy 10.1 if the injunction were granted because missing the Christmas season would make the new tablet “dead” by the time it reached market.

However, Justice Bennett said she had to weigh this consideration against the loss and injury that could be caused to Apple should Samsung be allowed to sell the iPad rival.

The dispute will procede to a full hearing, which is unlikely to occur before next year.

In a statement, Samsung Electronics said it was disappointed with the ruling and would be seeking legal advice on its options.

“Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple’s claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers,” it said.

More at Sydney Morning Herald

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