Australia Flip-Flops as Apple vs. Samsung Tablet Lawsuits Continue on Three Continents

In the past week Australian courts first lifted a ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, then re-instated it as the ongoing legal saga plays out in the U.S., Germany, Australia and seven other countries.

By Cliff Roth

Page 1 of 1
Video/Imaging DesignWire
(12/2/2011 5:10:10 PM)

In the past week Australian courts first lifted a ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, then re-instated it as the ongoing legal saga plays out in the U.S., Germany, Australia and seven other countries.

Apple claims that Samsung has stolen its iPad design, and that it has patents to back that claim up.

In Australia, a ban has been in effect since this past July. A court lifted that ban on Nov. 29, but then on Dec. 2 the High Court continued the ban for at least another week, making the prospect of holiday sales dim.

Meanwhile, in Germany Apple has also succeeded in banning Galaxy Tab sales as the case goes through the courts, while in The Netherlands a ban resulted in Samsung’s re-design of the Galaxy Tab units sold there.

In the U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab units are still legal, but Apple has been vigorously trying to get them banned in a little-publicized lawsuit that’s shrouded in secrecy (see Insight: Apple vs Samsung lawsuit full of secret combat). The secrecy arises from the fact that this is a private lawsuit and the judge has given wide latitude to both parties in the interests of protecting trade secrets. Redacted documents released to the public indicate, among other things, that Samsung has some 8,500 employees engaged in telecommunications R&D, and that it spent some $35 billion on R&D between 2005 and 2010.

For Apple, the need to win these cases is probably less important than the company’s success in attaining nationwide bans while the case are in litigation. With the fast pace of technological advancements, each particular model is likely to be obsolete before the case is resolved. So a temporary ban, in effect, is almost as good as a permanent one.

As the cases work their way through the world’s courts, Apple continues to be Samsung’s biggest customer for parts, a relationship estimated to be worth over $5 billion.



MOST POPULAR ARTICLES