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Samsung Will Delay Australia Tablet Sales in Apple Patent Spat

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Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. will keep delaying sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer in Australia until a judge rules on Apple Inc.’s request for a longer injunction, as the two companies wage a global patent battle.

Samsung is willing to extend a previous agreement to hold off selling the Galaxy 10.1 that was due to expire Sept. 30, lawyer David Catterns said in Sydney court. Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett said she expects to issue a ruling on Apple’s request “sometime next week.”

Apple lawyer Steven Burley said Samsung has an interest in delaying trial on the patent dispute, which began in April in the U.S. after Apple sued Samsung claiming Galaxy products imitated the designs and technologies used in iPads and iPhones. Samsung struck back with lawsuits in South Korea, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.

“By the time Samsung gets to trial, they’ll be onto their next product” so any ban on the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 would no longer have any effect, Burley said.

Samsung agreed in August to delay its planned release of the Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Australia until Bennett rules on Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple’s request for the injunction, which would bar the sale of the product until a court rules on its patent infringement claim following a trial.

Bennett urged both sides to consider starting trial as soon as possible. “Technology moves very quickly,” Bennett said in a Sept. 26 hearing.

The case is: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. NSD1243/2011. Federal Court of Australia (Sydney).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net