Chalk up another courtroom win for Apple against Android. Tuesday, an Australian federal judge ordered Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales halted, a move that dooms lucrative Christmas sales for the South Korean company and could threaten other Android-based devices.
Justice Annabelle Bennett ruled Samsung cannot sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until a formal hearing takes place between the two companies, a process that likely rules out sales during the much-desired Christmas buying period. Bennett found Samsung’s device had infringed upon two Apple patents covering the touchscreen and gesture controls. Although specifics won’t be released until Friday, reports indicate the ruling is broad and could impact other iPad and iPhone competitors using the Android operating system in Australia.
The ruling follows Samsung’s earlier decision to voluntarily keep the Galaxy Tab 10.1 off the Australian market until the court’s decision. A Samsung lawyer has suggested the company may pull the tablet off the Australia market, should further delays occur, a possibility near certain considering the ruling against the South Korean company.
Samsung could introduce a “hobbled version of the tablet” in the country, offered an Australian intellectual property lawyer who spoke with the Sydney Morning Herald.
This week ruling is just the latest legal victory against Samsung. In September, a German court barred the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from stores in that European nation. Other legal challenges are underway in a number of other countries, including the U.S., Japan and France.
This week’s patent decision could extend far beyond Samsung. If the patents in question are broadly specified, many devices employing the Android OS could be threatened by Apple.