Apple wins battle to block Samsung tablets in Australia

Apple iPad and Galaxy Tab Apple has repeatedly accused Samsung of "blatantly copying" aspects of its mobile devices

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An Australian court has temporarily banned the sale of Samsung Electronics' tablet computer in Australia, a victory for Apple in its global patent dispute with the South Korean company.

Apple has accused Samsung of copying its touch-screen technology for its Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The two companies are embroiled in legal battles in nine countries.

Samsung is one of Apple's biggest challengers in the smartphone and tablet industry.

The decision by the federal court threatens to hurt Samsung's position in the Australian market, as it could miss the lucrative Christmas season.

The two companies have been locked in patent disputes since April, with each accusing the other of infringing patents.

Apple has already won a victory in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. An appeal hearing is expected in that case.

Last week, Samsung said it would try to stop the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in France and Italy, accusing the company of infringing 3G transmission patents.

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