SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court could rule next week on an injunction sought by Apple to bar the sale of Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy 10.1 tablets in the country, a federal court judge said on Thursday.
Samsung has been forced to delay the launch of its latest Galaxy tablet computer in Australia until after the court ruling on its ongoing global patent dispute with Apple.
"I will do it as quickly as I can. I would hope to give a judgment next week," Justice Annabelle Bennett told the court.
Samsung and Apple have been locked in a dispute over smartphones and tablet patents since April.
In the global intellectual property fight, Apple has claimed the Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad.
The legal battle between Samsung and Apple is expected to crimp growth at one of the fastest growing businesses of the South Korean company, while threatening to worsen business ties with the firm's largest customer.
In a series of cases, Apple has successfully blocked Samsung from selling its latest tablets in Germany and some smartphone models in the Netherlands.
Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc's Android software, has counter-sued Apple.
(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram and Amy Pyett; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)