Some interesting developments in the land down under concerning Apple’s patent infringement suit against Samsung there. Samsung today said that it would delay the launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 device until the end of September.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Samsung will not sell or even advertise its Android-based tablet in Australia before September 30th. In the interim, Apple will plead the patents its asserting before the Australian Court on September 5th with Samsung providing its counterpoints on September 16th. An official hearing on the matter will subsequently be held on September 26th and 29th. Intriguingly, the report notes that that some of Apple and Samsung’s top executives and inventors many be called to testify either in person or via video conferencing.
The news out of Australia is just the latest blow to Samsung as a Dutch court last week issued a ruling preventing the company from selling its line of Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones in the EU. It’s worth noting, though, that the order applies to Samsung’s three Netherlands-based subsidiaries and not to the parent company.
In an official statement regarding the news out of Australia, Samsung stated:
“Today, Samsung informed the Federal Court of Australia it intends to file a cross claim against Apple Australia and Apple Inc regarding the invalidity of the patents previously asserted by Apple and also a cross claim against Apple regarding violation of patents held by Samsung by selling its iPhones and iPads.”
FOSS Patents also chimes in:
While Apple’s Australian business certainly benefits from not having to compete with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the time being, the one thing Apple primarily wants to do is pave the way for what could be a decisive victory in the United States in October. If Apple obtains a preliminary injunction in the U.S., or at some point appears fairly likely to succeed, Samsung will come under a lot of pressure to work out a settlement with Apple. But if Apple doesn’t win in California, Samsung will likely accept the opportunity cost it incurs in Australia and parts of Europe and continue to pursue its longer-term strategy.
It won’t be possible for Samsung to fend off all of Apple’s attacks. Sooner or later, Apple will successfully assert intellectual property rights in pretty much every major jurisdiction with strong patent and design protection. But as long as Samsung can play for time and maybe get away with minor design changes or technical adjustments here and there, Samsung will keep on fighting.
Regarding minor design changes, last week we pointed out that Samsung appears to have made changes to its upcoming US version of the Galaxy S II to make it look less like the iPhone than its European counterpart.