Update: Samsung has now met with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) in court, and has agreed to delay the sale of its 10.1-inch Tab by another month. New story here. Original post below.
Samsung has so far managed to dampen any damaging rulings or injunctions from Apple’s legal actions in Europe against its Galaxy products; but it is also fighting another fire further afield in Australia.
The two sides are due to meet in court this coming Monday, August 29, culminating a month of legal wrangles and a temporary injunction on the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.
The fracas started three weeks ago, when Apple filed a case against Samsung in Sydney, alleging design infringements in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The complaint covered gestures such as the slide-to-lock and the pinch/zoom.
Apple requested an injunction on the devices until the matter was resolved, which it achieved in getting: the Australian launch of the Tab 10.1 in was supposed to take place earlier this month, according to ZDNet Australia.
What’s interesting is that in its defense, Samsung claimed that the devices that Apple was using in its infringement assessment were from the U.S. After that, Samsung has provided Apple with three of the tablets it will launch in Australia.
Was this just a delaying tactic from Samsung or something else? It is not clear if these tablets — and along with the other units Samsung plans to sell in Australia — will have been altered to circumvent some of the issues that Apple raised.
If that is the case, it could be the first example of Samsung modifying its products in relation to Apple’s allegations — but perhaps not the last. This is also the approach that a Samsung lawyer suggested Samsung will take in Europe, after a ruling in a Dutch court earlier this week found that Samsung infringed on software design.
The court date of Monday next week was ordered by the judge presiding over the case, Annabelle Bennett, in the event that Samsung and Apple were not able to resolve this situation on their own — which looks to be the case.
If Apple does not succeed in its legal case against Samsung, it could end up having to pay legal costs, but it might still be a win-win for the Cupertino company: with timeliness to market, and media buzz, being two of the most important aspects of getting the sales of a mobile device right, the delay and negative publicity around it could prove a dent to Samsung’s sales regardless.