Apple rejects initial Samsung court deal

Representatives for Apple today informed a Sydney court that they have rejected an initial deal proposed in Friday's hearing by Korean gadget giant Samsung.

Representatives for Apple today informed a Sydney court that they have rejected an initial deal proposed in Friday's hearing by Korean gadget giant Samsung.

Gavel

(My trusty gavel image by Brian Turner, CC2.0)

The initial deal, according to discussions in court between Justice Annabelle Bennett and representatives from Apple and Samsung, would have seen the case moved to an early final hearing stage, following 10 weeks of interlocutory discussions before the court. Samsung had previously been pushing to have the case to determine whether the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 does violate Apple patents delayed for a year, while Apple looked to bring it forward.

Full terms of the initial deal remain confidential, but one of the terms would see Samsung not releasing the controversial Galaxy Tab 10.1 onto the market until the final hearing takes place. Samsung has not yet been ordered to withhold the device from the market; instead, the company voluntarily delayed the launch as a gesture of good faith until the case can be resolved.

Samsung's representatives told the court today that weekend discussions over the deal had broken down, with neither party able to agree to the confidential terms. According to Burley, Apple has requested more information on the terms of the deal.

Burley described the initial deal as an attempt by Samsung to "have its cake and eat it too", by releasing the device to the market. He added that Apple likely wouldn't be engaging in legal action to start with, if it simply allowed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to be released onto the market unchallenged.

"Our letter in response said that we don't accept the terms [of the deal]. The whole reason we're here is to prevent the launch and maintain the status quo," Burley told Justice Bennett.

Justice Bennett, however, said that Apple's rejection of the deal does not necessarily mean that an agreement for an early final hearing cannot be reached, recalling other complex cases she has presided over that needed to be pulled together within three weeks.

"Complex cases, if they have to be, can be [heard early]," she said.

Apple originally hauled Samsung before the New South Wales branch of the Federal Court last month, claiming that the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed on its patents, including "slide to unlock" and the "edge-bump" feature. Its end game was to curtail the release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia.

Samsung revealed in a later hearing that it would be countersuing Apple in Australia for patent infringement in Apple's iPhone and iPad product lines.

Another interlocutory hearing is continuing in Sydney today.