SYDNEY (AP) - Samsung Electronics Co. is free to sell its Galaxy tablet computers in Australia after the country's highest court Friday dismissed rival Apple's appeal in its global patent battle.
The High Court had temporarily banned sales of the Galaxy pending a final decision on whether to allow Apple Inc., creator of the iPad and iPhone, to appeal a lower court ruling in favor of Samsung.
Following the ruling, Samsung said in a statement that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 "will be available in stores in time for the Christmas shopping period."
Apple took Samsung to court in Australia after accusing the South Korean company of copying its iPad and iPhone. In October, a judge ordered Samsung to halt sales of the Galaxy ahead of a trial. But Samsung went back to court, challenged the decision and won the right to resume sales.
But Apple immediately appealed that decision to the High Court, which granted a temporary injunction pending a final decision.
The battle began in April, when Cupertino, California-based Apple sued Samsung in the United States, alleging the product design, user interface and packaging of Samsung's Galaxy devices "slavishly copy" the iPhone and iPad.
Samsung responded by filing its own lawsuits that accused Apple of patent infringement of its wireless telecommunications technology.
The fight has spread to 10 countries, with courts in several nations - including Germany and the Netherlands - ruling in favor of Apple. It has highlighted the perception that Samsung - the global No. 1 in TVs and No. 2 in smartphones by sales - is more of an imitator of clever technologies than an innovator in its own right.
Apple, by contrast, is generally viewed by consumers as highly original and inventive.