Apple demands importer's customer data

In its quest to make sure the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 never sees the light of day in Australia, Apple has levelled a legal threat against an Australian tablet importer in an attempt to destroy the devices and obtain the names of those who have purchased one. Unfortunately for Apple, the tablet importer in question has no intention of playing ball.

In its quest to make sure the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 never sees the light of day in Australia, Apple has levelled a legal threat against an Australian tablet importer in an attempt to destroy the devices and obtain the names of those who have purchased one. Unfortunately for Apple, the tablet importer in question has no intention of playing ball.

Gadget importer Dmavo had been capitalising on the injunction slapped on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in October until last week, when Apple's high-powered legal team at Freehills hand-delivered a 21-page cease and desist order designed to choke off the supply of the Samsung tablet to Australia.

The document (PDF) ordered Dmavo to return an undertaking to Freehills, stating first and foremost that the importer would stop selling, importing and disposing of all variations of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple and its lawyers also sought to obtain all of Dmavo's Galaxy Tab 10.1 units for immediate destruction, as well as the names, addresses and other details of anyone who bought one of the devices from Dmavo. Apple also wanted to find out from which company Dmavo was importing the devices.

Dmavo told ZDNet Australia yesterday that the Cupertino-based gadget maker was "dreaming" if it thought the company would stop selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and was outraged at the implication that it would hand over customer data.

"We've got no intention of complying with what they ask for. Especially providing customer details. It's a clear breach of the Privacy Act. What their wishes and demands are, they're way above what they can achieve under the current injunction," an unnamed executive of Dmavo told ZDNet Australia.

I'm happy to give the finger to Apple, he added.

The 28 October deadline for compliance has come and gone and neither Apple nor Freehills have been in touch again to enforce a penalty for non-compliance, but Dmavo's executive isn't afraid of what the gadget giant might throw over the trenches. He predicts another legal battle.

"They have not indicated what non-compliance may mean. They will try to take the matter to court, because technically there's nothing else they could do," he said, adding that by that time, the company would have undergone a restructure that would see the tablet-selling business carved up, registered and operational in an offshore location. He said he wouldn't even show up to such a case if it was brought before a judge.

"We'd let that hearing go so we don't have to pay legal costs and there'd be a default judgement in Apple's favour."

When asked if such a judgement would present problems, he said that neither Apple nor Freehills nor the Federal Court could order the tablet business to stop selling the devices due to its offshore location.

This isn't the first time Dmavo has beaten its chest in the face of Apple's high-powered legal team. When the initial injunction was handed down by Justice Annabelle Bennett in the Federal Court, Dmavo told ZDNet Australia that it wasn't afraid of Apple and wouldn't bow to threats.

Similar threats have been levelled at Australian gadget entrepreneur, Ruslan Kogan, who pulled his Galaxy Tab 10.1 units from sale after a similar legal threat.

ZDNet Australia sought comment from Apple Australia on the matter, but none had been received at the time of publication.

Apple and Samsung are set to go back before the Federal Court today.