Next Stop for Apple vs. Samsung: Australia

Apple accuses Samsung of patent infringement in the land down under.

Apple has launched legal proceedings in Australia against Samsung Electronics, accusing the South Korean firm of infringing its patents with its Galaxy Tab 10.1, papers show.

Samsung already is embroiled in a patent dispute over smartphones and tablet computers with Apple in the United States, in which both sides have filed infringement claims against the other.

Documents presented to the Federal Court of Australia show Apple is seeking to permanently ban the sale or promotion of the latest Galaxy Tab 10.1, which would compete with Apple's iPad, in Australia.

Apple says Samsung's tablet infringes 10 of its Australian patents, according to a document filed to the court.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1, launched in its home market last month, is not yet available in Australia. Samsung said Apple's complaint relates to a variant of the slim tablet, which it had never intended to sell in Australia.

"Apple Inc. filed a complaint with the Federal Court of Australia involving a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 variant that Samsung Electronics had no plans of selling in Australia," Samsung said in a statement.

A Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released "in the near future," it added.

Samsung has released its touch-screen Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- which it says is the world's thinnest tablet at just 8.6 millimeters -- in five overseas countries, including the United States.

The patent tussle began in April when Apple filed a suit accusing Samsung of copying its smartphones and tablet computers. Samsung responded with a claim in Seoul alleging five patent infringements by Apple.

Apple later lodged a second lawsuit against Samsung with a district court in Seoul, asking for a sales ban on the South Korean firm's latest products.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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