October 27, 2011 / 5:00 AM / 8 years ago

Australian court to fast-track Samsung appeal on tablet ban

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics won Australian court approval for fast-tracking its appeal against a ban on the sale of its new Galaxy tablet computer in the country, part of an ongoing global legal battle with iPad maker Apple Inc.

Apple was granted an injunction against Samsung earlier this month in Australia, temporarily preventing the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 tab — a key rival to the iPad in the fast-growing tablet computer market.

Samsung sought and has been granted an expedited hearing by the Federal Court in Sydney, hoping to overturn the ban before the busy pre-Christmas shopping season.

“I’m quite firm of the view that the matter should proceed on the basis that the lead application be referred to a full court, that it be listed at the same time as any prospective appeal and that the matter be expedited,” Justice Lindsay Foster said.

No date has yet been set.

Samsung and Apple were also in court for preliminary hearings into Samsung’s claim that Apple’s latest iPhone 4S infringes on its patents.

Samsung has filed preliminary injunction motions to ban sales of the iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan, escalating the battle with its arch rival and biggest client.

The two technology firms have been locked in an acrimonious battle in 10 countries involving smartphones and tablets since April, with the Australian dispute centring 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.

Samsung had been reluctant to agree to an expedited Australian hearing, despite the risk of missing out on Christmas sales, because it said it needed time to prepare a proper defense against Apple’s case.

Reporting by Amy Pyett; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Ed Davies

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