An Australian court reversed a ban on the sale of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy tablet computers in the country on Wednesday, handing it a victory against rival Apple Inc in the firms' global patent war.
Apple was granted an injunction against Samsung in October, temporarily preventing Australian sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tab -- the hottest competitor to Apple's iPad, which dominates global tablet sales. The decision to support Samsung's appeal is a boost for the South Korean technology company ahead of the busy pre-Christmas shopping season. Apple and Samsung have been locked in an acrimonious battle in 10 countries involving smartphones and tablets since April, with the Australian dispute centering on touch-screen technology used in Samsung's new tablet. Apple successfully moved to block Samsung from selling its tablets in Germany and a case in the Netherlands has forced Samsung to modify some smartphone models.
The legal battle in Australia doesn't stop at tablet computers. Samsung has sought to block sales of Apple's latest iPhone 4S, which went on sale in early October, by filing preliminary sales injunction requests in four countries including Australia.
An Australian court has agreed to hear that case in March and April of 2012, with sales allowed to continue as normal ahead of the hearing on alleged patent infringements.