Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet has been put on hold indefinitely in Australia after an intellectual property and trade practises hearing in Sydney yesterday.
Samsung Galaxy 10.1
On Monday last week, Apple Australia got hold of the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and, after three days of studying the US device, filed a lawsuit, with 1200 pages of documents handed to Samsung's Australian lawyers by Friday. Apple brought the case against Samsung with such speed in an attempt to block the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from release in the Australian market, citing a major concern over the imminent release of the device, which is scheduled to come here in the coming months.
Included in the patents, the tablet allegedly infringes are Apple's "slide to unlock" feature to gain access to the device, as well as the pinch-to-zoom and edge-bounce features when viewing images and reading documents.
In a court case that went on into the night, Apple's legal counsel Christian Dimitriadis said that the gadget maker sought an injunction to block the upcoming release of the device in the local market until the patent suit had been resolved.
Samsung's legal counsel Neil Murray proposed that Apple base any case from an Australian version of the Galaxy 10.1, rather than the US version Apple had already seen and based its case upon. Samsung sent a letter to Apple yesterday suggesting that it would give Apple three days to study the unit before its release to market.
After over an hour of negotiating, the two parties agreed on a course of action that would see Samsung provide Apple Australia with three Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 units seven days before the intended local release date for a detailed and highly confidential study. Until then, the court has ordered that Samsung freeze its plans for the product.
Documents filed in court state that Samsung would be unable to promote the device, take pre-orders, ship to sales channels or even generate interest in the new Galaxy Tab until the case has been resolved.
Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett suggested that the case could result in quite hefty penalties for Samsung if it was in fact deemed that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 had infringed on Apple's patents.
Apple took aim at Samsung in April in the US, claiming that the Korean-based hardware giant had infringed upon several of its patents relating to the iPad and iPhone products.
Since then, Samsung has countersued the Cupertino, California-based company asking to see the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 so as not to infringe in future. Apple dismissed the claims as harassment in the US.
The court will pick up the case again on 29 August.