In the Federal Court this morning, Justice Bennett granted Apple an interim injunction against Samsung. The effect of this injunction is that Samsung is prevented from selling (by whatever means) the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until the matter is finally decided. Any attempts to sell the device would likely be brought up as a contempt of court matter, which would almost certainly result in hefty penalties for Samsung.
The judge’s reasoning for granting the injunction hasn’t yet been released – this will probably come Friday with the issue of the orders – however Justice Bennett was quoted as saying that in the circumstances, the granting of the injunction sought by Apple was “appropriate”.
The two patents at the heart of this issue are over detailed design of the touchscreens and their ability to enable vertical scrolling even when a person touching the screen doesn’t move their finger in a precise vertical pattern. Without knowing the technical details myself, I can’t say how critical the former of these two patents is, but one would think that the latter might be more open to opposition or to change algorithms enough that the Galaxy Tab can continue. That said, I’m no patent attorney, and Apple has been pretty successful in enforcing its patents elsewhere.
We are waiting for more news on the outcome of the hearing, but in by far the biggest news, the interim injunction was granted. It is unclear how this will affect the sales of the tablet by 3rd party retailers, such as Mobicity or Millenius, however as we know, a lot of 3rd party retailers have already ceased sales of the device having received (what I suspect to be) some quiet words from Apple.
Once we have more, we’ll update you of course.