Apple has successfully kept Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1, the latest Android tablet from the South Korean manufacturer, in Australia. The two companies have been in the throes of legal battle for a few months now in several different countries. Apple decided to escalate its case against Samsung, and the latter relented and decided not to sell its tablet until courts approve the decision or the patent lawsuit is settled.
Why the injunction in Australia? BusinessWeek reports:
The Australian injunction is necessary because Samsung has had “announcements of an imminent launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 device ongoing since July 20,” Burley said before the agreement was announced.
Apple is basing today’s claim on a U.S. version of the Galaxy tablet, which is different from the one that will be sold in Australia, Samsung’s lawyer Neil Murray said.
It’s hard to imagine that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 being released in Australia would be dramatically different in terms of design and function from the one made for the U.S. Apple claims that Samsung has been “slavishly copying” the iPad design and touchscreen capabilities instead of innovating on its own. Whether the Australian version is a dramatic departure from the U.S. version is anyone’s guess, but I’d say they’re similar enough to warrant Samsung’s surrender.
This could be a bad sign for the South Korean manufacturer in other countries given its decision to give into Apple in Australia. Will Apple try to block the Galaxy Tab in other countries? What about Galaxy S smartphones and other devices that the iPhone maker feels are blatant rip-offs?
The legal fight started between the two companies when Apple alleged that Samsung was too busy copying the iPhone and iPad, rather than innovating and coming up with new designs for itself. The Galaxy S smartphone maker fought back with wireless technology patent lawsuits. Both companies are currently in the heat of litigation in 11 courts in nine countries on four continents. That’s covering a lot of ground!