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Samsung-Apple Wars: Galaxy blocked Down Under

Another shot fired in the mobile patent wars

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Apple's copycat tablet war with Samsung has found a new theatre, it is hitting the Australian courts.

Apple is seeking an injunction against Samsung which would block the Korean electronics giant from launching the latest version of its Galaxy tablet computer in Australia until the patent lawsuit is resolved.

On Monday, a Federal Court in Sydney heard Apple lawyer Steven Burley claim that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 had infringed 10 Apple patents, including the "look and feel" and touchscreen technology of the iPad.

In an agreement reached during a break in the hearing, Samsung agreed to stop advertising the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and not to sell the device until it wins court approval or the lawsuit is resolved.

Bloomberg reports that Apple also agreed to pay Samsung damages in the event that it loses its patent infringement lawsuit.

Burley argued that the Australian injunction was required as Samsung has been publicly flagging the imminent launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 since 20 July.

Samsung's lawyer Neil Murray said that Samsung agreed to offer Apple with three samples of the Australian version of the computer tablet at least seven days before its planned launch, in a bid to allow Apple to review it, according to the agreement submitted in court.

The tense situation between the companies erupted in April when Apple sued Samsung in the US, claiming the Galaxy products were slavish imitations of the iPad and iPhone design and technology. In April Apple filed 16 claims against Samsung, including unjust enrichment, trademark infringement and 10 patent claims.

Samsung, which supplies memory chips for Apple, shot back with lawsuits in South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US.

The next scheduled hearing is set for 29 August, when the court will review the status of the case and set a trial date if necessary. ®

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