Apple rejects Samsung offer in iPad war

2011-10-04 11:28

Sydney - Apple Inc rejected an offer from Samsung Electronics Co to settle their tablet computer dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the commercial viability of the South Korean firm's new Galaxy tablet in that market.

Apple says Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad and has launched an international legal battle which is expected to hurt growth at one of Samsung's fastest-growing businesses.

Samsung, whose Galaxy gadgets are seen as a major threat to Apple's devices, rejects the claims, but has been seeking a quick settlement in Australia so that its new Galaxy 10.1 tablets can be launched there in time for Christmas.

But a lawyer for Apple told the Federal Court in Sydney on Tuesday that Samsung's latest offer, made last week, provided no basis for a settlement and it wanted the court to rule on its claim that the Galaxy's touch screen technology infringed an Apple patent.

"The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch [of the Galaxy tablet] and maintain the status quo," Apple lawyer Steven Burley told the court.


An Apple victory in Australia could hurt Samsung's bid to close the gap with Apple in the global tablet market, with a crucial US court ruling expected next week.

Samsung told the Sydney court that if it could not secure a ruling within about two weeks, the opportunity to launch its new tablets in time for Christmas would be lost and that it might as well take its time to argue the case well into 2012.

"If we can't get a decision out by mid-October, there is no urgency," said Neil Young, a lawyer for Samsung, adding that it might take until March to fully prepare its legal defence.

In that case, he added, the Galaxy 10.1 in the Australian market would be "commercially dead".

Samsung's latest Galaxy tablets, powered by Google's Android operating system, have already been blocked in Germany. So too have some smartphone models in the Netherlands.

Samsung had hoped to launch the new Galaxy tablet in Australia in late August or early September but this has been repeatedly delayed as it awaits the Australian court's ruling.

The ruling could come this week, a federal court judge had said last week.

Court ruling

Last week, Samsung agreed to withdraw two features from the Galaxy 10.1, leaving just one disputed Apple patent over touch screen display technology. This patent deals with how finger movements are used on tablets to generate a software command.

Samsung and Apple are suing each other in nine countries over 20 cases, with few of them holding as much significance as the California court ruling expected next week.

Samsung may seek legal measures to ban sales of Apple's new iPhone, a source familiar with the matter has told Reuters. The highly anticipated iPhone 5 is set to be unveiled later on Tuesday.

Apple fired its first salvo in April by suing Samsung in California, saying the Galaxy line-up devices infringed on its mobile technology patents and design.

Samsung's smartphone business has been growing furiously, powered by its flagship Galaxy models. Some analysts expect Samsung to overtake Apple in unit terms as the world's No1 smartphone vendor and report record profits from mobile business in July - September.

Samsung, due to report its third-quarter earnings guidance later this week, saw smartphone sales soar more than 500% in the second quarter, easily eclipsing Apple's 142% growth, though Apple sold about one million more units.

  • Ascendo Tuum - 2011-10-04 12:13

    Thats like Ford suing Toyota for making cars which look like theirs with four wheels, an engine and gearbox. Get over yourselves Apple you aren't that good and when someone points out that the Emperor is really naked you will crumble faster than Julius's resolve at a free cake eating competition.

  • TDP - 2011-10-04 12:24

    more reason not to buy rotten apples

  • Shadoz - 2011-10-04 14:05

    So Ascendo Tuum lets say you design a electronic product that nobody else has and has thought of. Would you be happy if a korean company copys your design, looks and tech and then launches it at half the price. Would you be happy? i sure as shut wouldn't be happy and i would wanna stop it from hitting the market. MP3 players where the same nobody had them till after the ipod was released. So TDP you should thank APPLE and not dis them as many of the products you use today where made possiable because of them.

      Honest Dude - 2011-10-04 14:19

      Because Ford popularized the automobile in mass it doesn't mean they are still making the best cars. Also The HP-150 from 1983 was one the world's earliest commercial touchscreen computers and the Erricson R380 was the first Touch Screen Smartphone. These were both ideas Apple build on. Not all that original though.

      Phlegm - 2011-10-05 09:34

      Um, Shadoz, check your facts, the iPad was certainly not the first tablet, I had a Windows CE tablet in 2001 already, oddly enough it also looks like an iPad, I mean what other design would you apply to a tablet??? I think Boeing should sue Airbus for making airliners that look like Boeing's. All laptops look the same, even Apple Mac's, don't see anybody suing over this. If you want the brand name Apple and iPad, go get one, if you like iOS, good for you, but if you want Android or Microsoft or Samsung or Motorola then who is Apple to go to court and tell me what and can and cant buy? Bloody losers, they need to harden the F up and accept healthy competition for what it is, after this fiasco Apple will never get a cent of my money!

  • manicm - 2011-10-04 20:28

    Apple is really being viciously vindictive, but hear me out, I've just recently played with an Android phone and I was disappointed, why? It's just a wholesale copycat of iOS with no real innovation in the user interface area. Frankly Google should have seen this coming - it's been stupidity on their part. You don't believe me? HTC and Samsung both pay royalties to Microsoft for patents on all their Android phones!!!!!

      The Spear - 2011-10-05 07:48

      Well that depends on which version of Android you played with. Gingerbread is much better than IOS.

      manicm - 2011-10-05 14:03

      Perhaps, but the only mobile os that catches my imagination is Windows Phone 7+. And when Amazon decides to sell here, I will be the first Kindle Fire customer.

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