Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in litigation in 9 countries and across 3 continents. Things got started this past April when Apple sued Samsung claiming that it’s line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copy the look and feel of its iOS products. Here in the US, and elsewhere, Apple is pushing hard for a preliminary injunction against Samsung that would prevent them from selling upcoming smartphones and tablets in their product pipeline.
Now comes an interesting development via Bloomberg which relays that Samsung, before a court in Australia, has agreed not to sell the latest version of its tablet device in Australia until litigation is completed.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes 10 Apple patents, including the “look and feel,” and touchscreen technology of the iPad, Steven Burley, a lawyer for Apple, told Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett in Sydney today. The Cupertino, California-based company sought an Australian injunction and also wants to stop Samsung from selling the tablet in other countries, Burley said without specifying where.
Not only did Samsung agree not to sell the device, but they also agreed not to advertise the device in Australia until a resolution is reached. Moreover, Samsung acquiesced to Apple demands to supply the Australian court with three samples of the Galaxy tablet at least 1 week before it begins distribution – which we imagine would enable Apple to seek an injunction if it looks too similar to the iPad.
This is unquestionably a telling move from Samsung who is fighting hard here in the US but didn’t want to roll the dice with the Australian Court. If Samsung is as confident as it appears to be in its legal standing, it stands to reason that it would have defended itself in the land down under as opposed to caving and completely foregoing the entire Australian market.
This is the second Android related blow in as many weeks. Remember it wasn’t long ago that the ITC ruled that HTC’s handsets infringe on 2 of Apple’s patents. And while the legal proceedings in Australia carry no weight on other legal jurisdictions like the US, the fact that Samsung was quick to acquiesce perhaps suggests that they recognize the validity of Apple’s claims.
It’s also possible that Samsung is already stretched thin as it is as it engages in legal disputes regarding Android across the globe and that the Australian market is small enough that Samsung was willing to bow out prematurely and focus on litigation in other jurisdictions.