Cupertino blocks Australian Galaxy Tab launch


Following legal proceedings in the Federal Court today, iconic technology giant Apple has reportedly reached an agreement with Samsung which will block the Korean electronics giant’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from being sold in Australia until patent concerns are resolved.

Multiple outlets reported the action late tonight, with most of the reports appearing to based on an article published by Bloomberg after midnight last night.

Bloomberg reported that Apple counsel Steven Burley told the court in Sydney on Monday that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed 10 Apple patents, with Apple seeking an injunction to stop Samsung from selling its tablet in Australia. Samsung reportedly agreed to stop advertising the device in Australia as well as committing not to sell the device until it won court approval to do so, or the lawsuit was resolved.

Apple’s moves comes just days after Samsung last week invited the Australian media to a launch event on August 11 for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, with the company believed to be planning to start selling the device in Australia in the next several months through a number of local telcos. In the US, Apple commenced legal action against Samsung regarding the patent issue several months ago, with the action spreading internationally after Samsung hit back with its own lawsuits.

According to Bloomberg, the next hearing in the case will be on August 29.

Despite the fact that Apple reacted speedily to Samsung’s imminent launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, the Korean electronics giant has actually already been selling similar tablets in Australia for some time.

An initial 7″ version of the Galaxy Tab launched in November 2010 through all of Australia’s major mobile carriers, while Vodafone has also been selling a version dubbed the 10.1v. This model is very similar to the 10.1 model which Samsung had planned to launch in Australia soon; and it shares a number of features, such as a similar screen size and functionality, with Apple’s iPad tablet.

A number of other manufacturers have also launched similar tablets in Australia over the past six months; with Motorola, ASUS, Acer and others having models in the market with similar functionality and specifications to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion having recently debuted its PlayBook tablet. HP is also planning to shortly bring its TouchPad tablet to Australia.
Apple and Samsung will be invited to comment on the legal action tomorrow morning (Tuesday).

Image credit: Samsung


    • These are design patents, which are fairly different to software patents.

      They are about the hardware appearance and the TouchWiz Android front end. I’m a big Samsung fan (Galaxy S owner) but it’s hard to deny there are big similarities (and personally I wish Samsung’s products didn’t look so much like Apple’s)

      • Except Touchwiz is not used on the tab 10.1 (right now anyway) – it’s a stock Honeycomb UI ….

  1. I think from memory some of the patents are in the OS themselves, so they really should be going after Google.

    Either way, Apple is the biggest patent troll.

      • Interesting, some of the patents are directed at the OS itself though.

        It’s strange how things software wise can be patented that just make sense.

        Like pressing volume control buttons and getting a volume overlay slider show up and then it automatically going away

        • The are huge number of innovations that seem obvious is retrospect. That is often the sign of a good idea.

          A _design patent_ isn’t on the idea though – it is on the look & feel of the implementation. The idea is to stop people copying your product. They are often used in the fashion world to try and provide some protection for new designs.

          Unlike software patents (which are almost always a bad idea) I don’t think design patents are always evil

  2. Its cheaper and easier to buy stuff like this on ebay out of Hong Kong.

    Maybe one day retails and manufacturers will stop their war on customers.

  3. We should always protect and reward innovation – otherwise we will lose innovation (and who will they copy then??)

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