Sydney Stories November 30, 2011

A new twist in the Apple vs. Samsung legal proceedings spanning more than two dozen lawsuits across continents as the Federal Court in Australia lifted sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet today. The court unanimously overturned a ruling last month from Justice Annabelle Bennett which required that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 be banned from sale in Australia.

Sydney Morning Hearld quoted the ruling:

Samsung will be permitted to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia provided it keeps accounts of all transactions involving that device in Australia.

Samsung’s Australian subsidiary says it is “pleased with today’s unanimous decision”. Reacting to the decision, Apple plans on appealing to the High Court. The Federal Court also honored Apple’s request that its injunction remain in effect until Friday at 4pm, to allow the company time to prepare an appeal. A full hearing on copycat accusations is set for March 2012, which could still result in a permanent injunction.

Apple is also seeking a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a revised version with an added metal frame around the edges. Samsung engineered the Galaxy Tab 10.1N after a district court in Dusseldorf blocked sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the grounds that the product bears too many similarities to Apple’s iPad. A hearing in that case is scheduled for December 22. expand full story

Sydney Stories October 4, 2011

Apple today before a Sydney court rejected Samsung’s seemingly practical proposal calling for the removal of certain Galaxy Tab 10.1 capabilities in exchange for a smooth tablet launch in Australia. Samsung reportedly agreed to take out the feature which ignores unintended touches on the home screen to prevent apps from being launched accidentally. Apple, it appears, instead wants a definite ruling on a temporary Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction, which should be expected later this week.

If the court sides with Samsung, it gets to launch its iPad rival in Australia in time for Christmas. If not, the case drags out into another year, possibly without a clear winner in sight. Remember, Samsung threatened to ban sales of the new iPhone in Korea the instant it launches. Apple is scheduled to unveil their next iPhone at a media event today in the Cupertino headquarters at 1pm ET, 10am PT. The event is headlined under the “Let’s talk iPhone” tagline, suggesting that the rumored Assistant feature will be in the focus, among other things.

Lawyers for the Cupertino, California-based Apple insist the Galaxy Tab 10.1 “is vastly the one that is going to be targeting the iPad 2”According to Reuters, Apple lawyer Steven Burley made it clear that “the main reason we are here is to prevent the launch and maintain the status quo”. Note: The Wall Street Journal provides a live blog of today’s court hearing. Such a legal maneuvering on the part of the iPhone maker suggests that Apple isn’t interested in settling its dispute with Samsung out of the court unless, of course, unexpected legal setbacks arise.

This is the second blow in two weeks to Samsung’s efforts to make peace with Apple, its largest buyer of components such as NAND flash chips, custom-designed iPhone processors and displays.

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