Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch delayed

Samsung has pledged not to release the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia tomorrow, as it had originally planned, instead waiting for the court to rule on whether to ban the device until a full patent case can be heard, or allow it to be released to the market.

Apple had brought the case against Samsung in August, alleging that Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet infringed on patents used for the building of the iPad 2.

Apple today laid out all related affidavits and evidence before Justice Annabel Bennett in the Federal Court in Sydney. Next week, a decision will be handed down based on this evidence on whether to allow Samsung to sell the device until a full patent case can be heard, which could be as late as next year.

Apple counsel told the court that Apple had proposed to speed up the hearing of the case by narrowing the patents and evidence already presented, but said that Samsung had flatly rejected that proposal.

Lead Samsung counsel David Catterns QC said that it simply isn't feasible for Samsung to proceed so quickly.

"[It is] opportunistic and wildly untenable," he said. "It is madness what our friends have suggested."

"This is a set-up, not an invitation to treaty," he added.

Apple counsel argued that to delay the patent case by a year, as Samsung wants, would only benefit Samsung, which would be able to release the Galaxy Tab 10.1 into the market and would reap the benefit of sales it would potentially take from Apple.

Catterns argued that ultimately, Samsung sees its main tablet competitors as other Android tablet makers, rather than the iPad, as they are ultimately competing in the same operating system ecosystem. Apple counsel rejected this, stating that the Android tablet market is not as big as Samsung has made it out to be, and that the iPad 2 would be the Galaxy Tab 10.1's principle competitor.

Catterns pointed out that there is demand in Australia for the tablet, with Australian customers looking for alternate avenues to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 while the case was being played out. Online retailer Kogan has already ceased selling the 10.1 in Australia following legal threats from Apple.

"We say that there's a pent-up demand for our product," he said. "They're trying to parallel import [the Galaxy Tab 10.1]"

Bennett said that any final hearing would have to be narrowed to the specific patents relating to the Australian Galaxy Tab 10.1, saying that anything broader may impact on other products, as well as other patents in other countries.

Evidence presented by Apple included videos of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in action, as well as the Australian version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, hidden from public view in a white envelope.

Apple contended that Samsung had "sliced and diced" this product to change it from the US version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 upon which Apple's case had originally been based, removing features such as the "zoom and bounce" function. It would be possible for the company to do so again to avoid further infringements, according to Apple.

Yet it argued that gestures on Samsung's touchscreen for functions such as scrolling were also still infringing on its patents based on the angle of the gesture being made, and the ultimate response of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to that gesture. Samsung argued, on the other hand, that it was not the angle itself that led to the device's response, but rather the final position of a person's finger on the touchscreen relative to where it started.

The case will resume later today.


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David posted a comment   

Looking forward to Samsung taking Apple to court in October over dual core processors. Galaxy II vs iPhone 5.

Lets hope the courts side with Samsung over this and ban iPhone 5 sales in Australia!

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