Apple wins ban on Samsung tablet in Australia

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been banned by a court in Australia, as rival Apple wins another round in its international patent dispute over tablet computers.

The decision by the Australian federal court will temporarily prevent sales of Samsung's device, which Apple accuses of "slavishly" copying its touchscreen technology, putting an end to the South Korean company's hopes of cashing in on the lucrative run-up to Christmas.

"The ruling could further extend Apple's dominance in the tablet market as it widens a sales ban of Samsung's latest product," analyst Lee Seung-woo of Shinyoung Securities in Seoul told news agency Reuters.

The two companies are currently embroiled in legal disputes in nine countries. While the ban is a relatively minor setback for Samsung, given the small size of the Australian market, bigger problems may be on the horizon as the company will heads into a Californian court today to fight an attempt by Apple to ban sales of its Galaxy products in the United States.

Apple has already secured a ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Germany, where an appeal is expected soon.

Last week, Samsung said it planned to ban the sale of Apple's recently released iPhone 4S in France and Italy, accusing the company of infringing patents over 3G technology.