Samsung Scores Rare Win Over Apple in Tablet Wars


An Australian court rules to lift sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tablets.

BERLIN– Samsung has scored a rare victory over Apple in the companies’ ongoing tablet wars, after an Australian court ruled unanimously to lift a preliminary sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices. Apple had sued to keep the Samsung tablets off Aussie shelves, arguing the device was a slavish copy of its best-selling iPad and so violated Apple’s copyright. The court granted a stay on lifting the sales ban until Friday afternoon, giving Apple time to file an appeal to Australia’s High Court.

Apple and Samsung are locked in similar legal battles in 10 countries, including the U.S. All centre on Samsung’s touchscreen tablets and smartphones, with Apple claiming the South Korean company has copied the iconic design and underlying technology of the iPad and iPhone. Earlier this week, Apple filed an injunction request in Germany to ban sales of the Galaxy Tap 10.1N, a version of Samsung’s Tab 10.1 model that the company redesigned to get around an earlier sales ban in the territory.

It is unclear whether Samsung’s legal victory in Australia will affect cases in other territories. A bigger question is whether the tablet wars could endanger the Apple-Samsung business relationship, valued at more than $5 billion. Samsung makes many of the key components for Apple’s mobile devices and counts Apple as its single biggest customer.

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