In an Australian federal court on Tuesday, an agreement between the court and Samsung means Apple (s aapl) will continue to be able to sell its iPhone 4S Down Under throughout the holiday season and into 2012 before facing the possibility of an injunction.
Samsung agreed with a suggestion from the court to change its request for a temporary injunction into an expedited application for a full injunction, the legitimacy of which will be determined at a hearing in March 2012.
Samsung released a brief statement (via The Australian) about the decision, indicating that it’s happy with the arrangement:
Samsung is pleased with this outcome as we believe expediting the main proceedings will be the most effective way for Samsung to protect our intellectual property rights and bring about a final resolution to this case.
Apple, for its part, didn’t seem as thrilled with the decision, since its lawyers tried to convince Justice Annabelle Bennett, the presiding judge in the case, to delay the final injunction hearing until July or August, due to conflicts in witness availability owing to proceedings ongoing in many countries overseas to deal with the very same issues. The judge denied this request on the basis that the iPhone 4S may be too old by that time for any resulting ban to have a significant effect.
Samsung is pursuing similar injunctions in Europe and Japan, but revealed on Monday that it would not attempt to secure a ban in its home country of South Korea. The original attempt by Samsung to get the iPhone 4S banned in Australia came hot on the heals of a victory by Apple that saw sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 formally put on hold.
Apple at least will be able to sell the iPhone 4S leading up to the holidays in Australia, which is generally a very lucrative selling period for iPhone devices. Samsung has a hearing coming up Nov. 25 in which it will appeal the court’s decision regarding the Galaxy Tab 10.1, in an effort to reverse that injunction and salvage some of the holiday shopping season.