Claiming Samsung copied the iPad’s design, Apple has successfully achieved their mission in getting an Australian judge to block Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia, reportsSydney Morning Herald. Apple says that Samsung is infringing on two patents, and the judge ruled until changes are made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can’t be sold from this point on.
Apple and Samsung have current litigation continuing over in Europe and the United States. Apple has already successfully blocked the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany and hopes to do so elsewhere.
Samsung won’t start addressing the core patent issue (screen patent) with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 quite yet. They want to prepare a proper defense against Apple. Interestingly, Samsung has setup a temporary store across from a Sydney Apple Store selling Samsung Galaxy S IIs for $2, to detract from the upcoming iPhone 4S launch Friday. The fight continues…
According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has offered Apple a secret deal to sort out the mess surrounding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet launch in Australia. The report has it that Samsung proposed a cunning solution that would allow them to release the device in the country next week. Apple’s legal counsel Stephen Burley allegedly told Justice Annabelle Bennett that Samsung’s “inconvenience would be diminished and we would be comforted” if the deal was accepted.
What incentive Samsung might have in store for Apple in exchange for releasing its tablet in Australia as early as next week is anyone’s guess. I asked patent expert Florian Mueller, who runs the FOSSPatents blog, about this. He responded on Twitter that Samsung “might promise not to infringe certain patents, make a payment, and perhaps also procedural concessions”.
Apple has made its concerns official. The iPhone maker fears Samsung tablet will lure consumers away from the powerful iTunes ecosystem. Apple’s been successfully leveraging iTunes to tie people to the platform through app and entertainment content sales.
The heated Apple vs. Samsung legal battle over who’s copying who is really about the ecosystem rather than the hardware or the patents. That’s the gist of today’s hearing before the Federal Court in Sydney related to an Apple-requested ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia. According toSmh.com.au, lawyers for Apple argued that the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that buyers may be “seduced” from the iOS platform.
It’s all about the apps and the broader ecosystem, Apple’s legal team told Justice Annabelle Bennett, arguing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 “is vastly the one that is going to be targeting the iPad 2″. IDC numbers released today suggest that that tablet shipments to Australia and New Zealand doubled sequentially in the June quarter, which the research firm attributed to an influx of Android tablets recently released into those markets.
Apple’s lawyers then resorted to the “fire hose” metaphor to make their case:
This is going to be launched on the market with the velocity of a fire hose and it is going to just come in and take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that by the time we get to final hearing the full impact of the patent infringement will be to the detriment of Apple and to the benefit of Samsung.
And this bit about the battle of ecosystems:
They’ll then be Android people and the investment in the apps that they make to purchase on their Galaxy Tab will be something they can’t use on an Apple product.
The Korea Timesreports that Samsung “is seeking a complete ban” on the iPhone 5 sales in Korea – even before the handset is even released, let alone officially announced. Local carriers KT and SK Telecom have so far sold about 3.1 million iPhones in the country. The paper quotes an unnamed Samsung senior executive:
Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.
Another Samsung executive is “quite confident” about “a big breakthrough” provided Samsung wins in Germany, adding that “so will other envisioned efforts against such products as the iPhone 5″. The report goes on to mention that iPhone sports an LG Display-made screen, LG Innotek’s eight-megapixel camera, Samsung-made NAND flash and A5 chip and an NFC chip for wireless payment.
The twist in this case, of course, is the fact that Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying displays, NAND flash memory and custom-built A4 and A5 chips for its products. It has been reported that Samsung may soon lose its iOS device processor contract as Apple turns to rival TSMC.
The manufacturing relationship means Samsung gets information about the innards of Apple’s non-released devices months before the actual manufacturing ramp up. This early access to Apple’s designs could have led Samsung to move with the iPhone 5 ban in Korea ahead of Apple’s official launch. On the other hand, Apple did not accuse Samsung yet of abusing its manufacturing contract to rip off Apple’s upcoming devices with its own products.
This is a Samsung-branded Windows 8 tablet Microsoft is giving away to BUILD attendees today.
The latest in the ongoing patent saga involving Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung includes an unexpected twist as Samsung goes after iPhone and iPad with a complaint filed before a Paris district court in July. The filing alleges infringement of Samsung’s three technology patents, reportsAFP. The first hearing is expected in December of this year.
Meanwhile, patent expert Florian Müller notes on his blog FOSSPatents that Apple has filed motions to temporarily halt two Motorola lawsuits until Google completes its $12.5 billion acquisition, which shook the technology world last month. Put simply, Apple argues Motorola waived its rights to sue when it transferred patents to Google. Apple wrote:
To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit
As you know, Google has transferred some of the Motorola patents to HTC, in addition to the ones acquired from Palm and Openwave Systems. HTC then used those patents to counter-sue Apple. Back to Apple vs. Samsung…
Financial Timestoday opined that Samsung needs to hit the reset button, predicting a licensing agreement of sorts provided Apple succeeds in blocking Galaxy products in the U.S. next month. Contrary to the reports, the publication thinks “Apple is restricted from taking its chip business to Samsung’s rivals in Taiwan because Samsung offers a complete package of components that other firms cannot match”. However, there are indications that Apple’s been lowering Samsung orders for some time and it’s widely believed the company is eager to take its silicon business to TSMC beginning next year.
The verdict is in. German consumers won’t soon be able to pick up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
A Dusseldorf court today upheld the temporary sales ban it issued Aug. 9, rejecting Samsung’s bid to overturn it for the most part. The judges won’t ban sales in other European Union countries as Apple had sought, Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said when delivering the verdict.
The judge stopped at German borders instead of issuing a full EU wide ban but further rulings could see the ban spread.
“The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible,” Brueckner-Hofmann said. “For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks” like the design Apple has protected in Europe.
The ruling is a big victory for Apple and as the Verge puts it, “the decision could foreshadow the future of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 and, honestly, any number of rectangular-shaped tablets in Germany as well.”
FOSSPatentsmentions some other “oddities” which could play a role in the widening scope of the case:
The Community design that the Düsseldorf Regional Court deems valid and infringed was also presented by Apple in its Dutch proceeding, but a judge in The Hague threw it out.
If the face of the Galaxy Tab is what is at issue, it isn’t Samsung that is at fault, it is Android. Cross-posted at 9to5Google.