Judge may grant brief injunction in Australian iPad patent case


At a hearing Monday in Australia to determine whether an injunction against the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country is merited, a judge suggested that both Samsung and Apple (s aapl) expedite their patent infringement trial  to resolve the issue. In the meantime, she suggested she might grant a “brief” injunction (via the Sydney Morning Herald) against Samsung’s tablet in order to give her more time to consider fully the arguments from both parties.

Monday was day one of the two-day hearing to determine whether or not the Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be banned until the dispute is resolved. The hearing concludes Thursday. Until now, Samsung has itself delayed the sale of the Tab 10.1 in Australia, pending this decision.

On Monday, however, Samsung’s lawyer argued that an injunction at this point would take things too far, since it could be “well into next year” before the dispute is resolved. Apple’s legal counsel countered that they are ready to go to trial next week, should expedited proceedings be the preferred option. Samsung countersued Apple in Australia in September for infringing seven of its wireless patents.

Three patents are at issue, all involving touchscreen technology used in Apple’s iPad devices. These include a method for vertical scrolling, as well as technology that allows the device to ignore accidental touches. Samsung’s lawyer claimed in the hearing that the real reason for the suit is that Apple is “worried,” and that “it’s the thinness of [Samsung’s] product that worries them.”

If the judge does issue a brief injunction followed by an expedited trial, Apple seems to believe it will have the upper hand, based on its statements in court on Monday. Samsung seems not to find either of those options appealing, so we should see Thursday more information about what other alternatives might be on the table at this point.

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