Australian Court grants Apple injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Thu, Oct 13, 2011

Legal, News

In what Apple hopes will be the first of many legal victories against Samsung, an Australian Court has granted Apple’s motion for an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. What this means is that Samsung can’t sell its iPad competitor in Australia until a final hearing on the issue is held, which likely won’t occur until 2012.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Justice Annabelle Bennett today said Apple had a prima facie case that Samsung had infringed two of its patents relating to touch screens and the gestures that control them.

“The balance of convenience was almost even … there were several factors that favoured Apple.”

“Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple’s claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers,” Samsung said in a statement following the decision.

This is a part of our ongoing legal proceeding against Apple’s claim. Samsung is also confident it can prove Apple’s violation of Samsung’s wireless technology patents through a cross-claim filed on September 16, 2011 with the Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales.

Our wireless standard patents are essential for mobile business. We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung’s patents and free ride on our technology.

This statement exemplifies the weak position Samsung is operating from. Whereas Apple’s asserted patents need not be licensed out to any 3rd party, Samsung’s asserted patents are admittedly part of wireless standard patents. Consequently, Samsung is obliged to license them out to anyone seeking to use them. The only issue, really, would be the terms of the deal.

We’ve previously described why Samsung’s legal action in this regard is below board.

Briefly, if a company’s patented technology is submitted to be included as part of a technological standard, those patents cannot be used offensively. Rather they must be licensed out to anyone who wants a license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Used correctly, this scheme results in a mutually beneficial arrangement where one company’s technology becomes an integral part of a standard while simultaneously becoming available for everyone else to use.

Samsung’s actions here, therefore, reek of desperation and demonstrate a flagrant disregard for the accepted rule of law surrounding RAND patents. In short, Samsung wants the best of both worlds – inclusion in technological standards and the right to prevent competitors from implementing those same standards.


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