Samsung wins round in long legal fight with Apple

Thu Dec 8, 2011 11:17pm EST
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By Amy Pyett and Miyoung Kim

SYDNEY/SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co won a round of its bruising global patent fight with Apple Inc on Friday when an Australian court lifted a ban on the sale of its Galaxy tablet computer in time for the busy Christmas shopping season.

But the South Korean firm's triumph in a Sydney courtroom was tempered by a setback the previous day in Paris, where another court rejected its bid to block sales of Apple's iPhone 4S in France.

Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in some 30 legal cases in 10 countries since April, as they jostle for the top spot in the booming smartphone and tablet markets.

The Australian High Court ruling allows Samsung to offer the device to Australian shoppers for the final weeks of the key Christmas shopping season and came a week after a U.S. court denied Apple's plea to ban Galaxy phones and tablets in the country.

Apple on Thursday appealed against the U.S. decision, which deprived the iPhone and iPad maker of crucial leverage.

In France, Samsung's bid to impose a preliminary sales ban on the iPhone 4S was rejected. Calling the request out of proportion, the court also ordered Samsung to pay 100,000 euros ($133,900) of Apple's legal fees, according to the decision.

Samsung said on Friday it would review the written grounds for the French ruling and continue to exercise all available options to assert its intellectual property rights.

Apple first sued Samsung in the United States in April, saying the firm's smartphones and tablets slavishly copied its iPhone and iPad.   Continued...