Australian Apple v. Samsung patent hearing begins

Australian Apple v. Samsung patent hearing begins

Summary: Two of the world's biggest technology companies will today front up in court for their patent-infringement case over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad.

TOPICS: Legal, Apple, Patents, Samsung

Today marks the start of three months of hearings between Apple and Samsung over claims of patent infringement from both companies across various iPad, iPhone and Galaxy devices.

Apple first took Samsung to court back in August 2011, prior to the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In a case similar to those launched across the globe in 2011, Apple alleged that the Android tablet infringes on a number of Apple's patents, including a "slide-to-unlock" patent.

Apple initially sought and won an injunction preventing the release of the 10.1 in Australia; however, this was eventually overturned by the full bench of the Federal Court.

Samsung countersued Apple, claiming that the iPhone and iPad infringe on a number of Samsung's 3G patents. The patents that Samsung has relied upon for the suit are what are known as standards-essential patents, meaning that the technology must be included within 3G devices in order to operate. Samsung is required to license these technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Samsung alleges that Apple never obtained licenses for these patents prior to using them in the iPhone and iPad. Apple has alleged that the licensing terms that Samsung sought from Apple were not reasonable, and not on the same level as those offered to other third-party vendors.

The case has taken months of directions hearings to set discovery in motion, have evidence ruled in and ruled out and seek testimony from technology and legal experts across the globe. Samsung even brought the Australian Commissioner of Patents into the case, seeking to have a number of the patents that were granted to Apple in Australia invalidated, because the company held more than one of the same type of patent at the same time.

In the meantime, Apple has released a new iPad and an iPhone, and Samsung has released the Galaxy S III and managed to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to market.

The case will go before Justice Annabelle Bennett for a full week, and will then return to court on 6 - 10 August, 10 - 14 September, 17 - 21 September, 25 - 28 September, 2 - 5 October and 8 - 12 October.

The court has opened the option for the case to be heard by two judges, who would receive lessons from tech experts in order to be fully informed across the issues of the case.

Topics: Legal, Apple, Patents, Samsung


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • I tried that excuse but it didn't work

    "Apple has alleged that the licensing terms that Samsung sought from Apple were not reasonable"

    I wanted a BMW M3 but the amount that the dealer wanted for it was not reasonable in my opinion so I just took it. When the police caught me, I explained very calmly that the BMW dealer wouldn't sell it to me for a price I thought was reasonable ($19.99). Would anyone care to guess how well that worked out for me?

    You can't steal something just because you don't like the price. You have to come to an agreed on price FIRST and then you can use the product. If you can't come to an agreed on price, you can't use the product (or patent) until you do. None of this "I'll just use it now and we'll worry about how to pay you later". Apple has done this many times before. This is getting to be a pattern of Apple's complete disregard for the IP of others, especially ironic considering how mental Apple gets whenever anyone tries to sell a rectangular tablet.

    "Apple alleged that the Android tablet infringes on a number of Apple's patents, including a "slide-to-unlock" patent."

    Samsung must have been very happy to see that the UK has deemed this patent to be invalid. Hopefully Samsung can have this, and many of Apple's other Australian patents, invalidated too.

    Here's hoping Samsung wins and Apple comes away feeling like it had a lit cigarette put out in its eye.
    • Never understood

      the "slide-to-unlock" patent.

      I never understood this one, Samsung's unlock is implemented totally different than Apple's. Sure, you do slide it to unlock it, but the slide isn't locked into a horizontal motion like the Apple; you can make it go circles if you like, or vertical, or any other motion.
      • Indeed...

        Basic Slide-to-Unlock is actually zipper of pants, isn't it :)
  • Won't have to chase an ambulance for five years after this

    Well, it's good to see that the lawyers in Australia aren't being left out of the feeding frenzy. Two well-heeled clients ready to run up thousands of billable hours each, at $500 per. Yum yum.
    Robert Hahn
  • i wonder

    if apple understand what means to us, the many who hoped that they would make a difference, to put this mighty dollar all over the world, infecting our hope and more, the mighty dream / vision of their Maker!

    that's all i had to say, i wonder...
    Dan Marinescu