Samsung free to sell Galaxy Tab

21 02 2012

The High Court has today (9 December 2011) refused Apple’s special leave application to appeal against an earlier Full Federal Court of Australia decision, which lifted an interlocutory injunction original obtained by Apple against Samsung.

Earlier this year, Apple had sought and obtained an interlocutory injunction in the Federal Court against Samsung preventing the sale of its Galaxy 10.1 Tablet computer, a serious competitor to the Apple iPad. On appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court, the injunction was overturned. Apple then made a special leave application (which is the process by which the High Court determines whether it will hear an appeal from the Full Federal Court) to overturn the Full Federal Court’s decision. While Apple was originally granted a reprieve, with the High Court maintaining the injunction until its decision today, the injunction was ultimately lifted when Apple failed in its bid to have the High Court hear the matter.

The effect of today’s decision is that:

  1. Samsung is now free to sell its popular Galaxy 10.1 Tablet computer, which has been touted by some as the ‘iPad killer’. The decision came just in time for Samsung to capitalise on the Christmas sales period; and
  2. Samsung may now be entitled to sue Apple for damages arising from Apple’s undertaking as to damages (the undertaking is basically a promise to make good any damage which arises from the injunction if a party does not ultimately sustain its grievance in Court). Such an action would involve a potential claim of tens of millions of dollars.

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