Apple lost its final appeal today against the lifting of an injunction put in place in Australia by Justice Bennett. Samsung had appealed the October ruling before the country's Federal Court of Appeals, which unanimously agreed to lift the sales injunction on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 ahead of a full trial.
The Cupertino-based firm was able to reinstate the ban another seven days in order for the High Court to hear its appeal on December 9. But apparently Apple was unable to convince the three-judge panel today, which favored the South Korean giant and gave the green light to start selling their tablet.
The High Court also acknowledged that the decision made today would effectively amount to a final determination in the outcome of the patent case, since the tablets in question would likely be superseded by the time it got to a full trial next summer. "We see insufficient prospects of success on the part of Apple to demonstrate on appeal to this court error by the full court," High Court chief justice Robert French commented.
Samsung Australia released an immediate statement saying they would have tablets on store shelves as soon as possible, with rumors suggesting it could be as early as Monday. Retailers currently confirmed are Harvey Norman, JB Hifi, Good Guys, Myer, Bing Lee and Office Works. On the court case itself, the company said, "the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia's decision on November 30 clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the GALAXY Tab 10.1."
This win for Samsung may effectively end the patent and design copyright claims made by Apple in Australia. The feud is far from over though, as come March the Australian Courts will play host to a trial that will see Samsung sue Apple for breaching its 3G wireless patents. The two giants still also remain deadlocked in courtroom battles throughout the world with victories swinging in both directions.
This latest development comes on the back of another decision earlier this week by a court in San Jose, Ca., which ruled against an injunction preventing Galaxy devices being sold on U.S. soil pending a full trial.