Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Samsung delays new tablet a second time in Australia

BULLYING?The South Korean giant put the release of its tablet on hold until hearings on claims it infringed 10 Apple patents, such as the ‘look and feel’ of the iPad

Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics Co agreed to push back the introduction of its newest tablet computer in Australia until the end of next month, the second delay in a month in its dispute with Apple Inc in the country.

Samsung will defer the launch of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer pending a hearing scheduled the week of Sept. 26 on Apple’s request for an injunction, the South Korean electronics maker said in a statement. David Catterns, an attorney representing Samsung, said his client is prepared to wait until the end of next month.

The decision comes four weeks after Samsung first agreed to hold off on the Australian debut of the product. The two companies, the world’s biggest makers of tablet computers, are also locked in legal disputes in markets including the US, Germany and South Korea.

Samsung will continue to push for the release of the product in Australia to “ensure that consumers have a wider selection of innovative products to choose from,” it said in an e-mailed statement.

Samsung had agreed at an Aug. 2 hearing to hold off on sales of the 10.1 tablet, after Apple claimed the device infringed 10 of its patents, including the “look and feel” of the iPad.

Samsung said the claim was based on a US model and the Australian version was different. The company last week provided Apple’s legal team with three samples of the 10.1 version intended to be sold in Australia, Steven Burley, an attorney representing Apple, told US Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett on Aug. 22.

Burley said the Australian model, which has “reduced functionality,” still violates at least two of Apple’s patents.

Catterns said the Australian model has “different features” and does not have “reduced functionality.”

The lawyers agreed to two days of hearings on Apple’s request for an injunction barring the sale of the 10.1 tablet in Australia until the resolution of the dispute, which may take months. The hearings are scheduled for Sept. 26 and 29.

A German judge said on Aug. 25 that Apple’s intellectual rights are probably strong enough to ban the sales of the 10.1 tablet in that country.

In the US, Samsung is arguing that Apple stole the design for its iPad from the Stanley Kubrick 1969 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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