Samsung refused iPhone 4S ban, case set for March

Samsung has been refused a temporary ban on the Apple iPhone 4S smartphone in Australia, pending a hearing in March next year.

Denying the South Korean firm an interim injunction preventing the sale of the handset until the matter reaches court, Justice Annabelle Bennett said, "The case will be fixed for a hearing for three weeks, commencing in March, 2012," news agency Reuters reports.

The exact date of the hearing will be set on Friday, 18th November.

Apple had initially requested to have the case heard in August next year, but Justice Bennett said that such a delay would make it difficult for Samsung to "expand the Android market."

Even so, a wait of four to five months will make any ban on the iPhone 4S, if eventually granted, largely ineffective, with handset's successor, the iPhone 5, expected in the latter half of next year.

Samsung's call for a ban in Australia rests of claims that the Apple device infringes three wireless communication patents held by the South Korean manufacturer. Other patent infringement claims have been lodged against Apple in Japan, Italy and France, continuing a tit-for-tat battle that has seen Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in Germany and Australia.