Samsung to fight against Apple in Australia
Korean tech giant to take issue with rival’s touchscreen patents
By Kim Yoo-chul
GOYANG, Gyeonggi Province ― Samsung Electronics said Thursday that it aims to appeal against a decision by an Australian court to ban the sales of its Galaxy Tab in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Apple.
``We will appeal to a higher court in Australia, immediately. Our stance to deal with the ongoing patent fight hasn’t changed,’’ said a company spokesman.
Samsung’s legal team is searching for various options including the complete nullification of Apple’s touchscreen-related patents, according to high-ranking executives.
``Apple has consistently claimed that we infringed on its touchscreen-related technologies, but Apple didn’t own the patents of those technologies because others had them,’’ said one official, participating in the ongoing Korea Electronics Show (KES) at the KINTEX Convention Center.
Specifically, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed its ``heuristics’’ and ``multi-touch’’ technology patents, which almost all LCD makers use.
He added Samsung’s Galaxy S-branded smartphones will be freed from any patent infringement troubles as the Samsung smartphones have OLED displays not LCDs. The Galaxy Tab has an LCD.
``These are not new technologies. Samsung plans to appeal that the claim by Apple doesn’t make any sense at all,’’ said the official, asking not to be identified.
A federal court judge in Australia granted Apple a temporary injunction against Samsung blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tablet 10.1 during a legal battle centering on patents.
The news dragged down Samsung Electronics shares in Korea by 0.89 percent to 890,000 won.
In August, Samsung had agreed to temporarily halt the sale of the new Galaxy Tab in Australia until the feud was completely resolved through either a settlement or a court order.
Apple won against Samsung in Germany and Australia, while a court in the Netherlands rejected Apple’s request to halt the sale of Samsung products.
``We are planning to apply fine-tuned measures that won’t heavily impact on our businesses in Australia. As Samsung has more product lineups, the release of other tablet models is possible ahead of schedule,’’ the company spokesman added.
The ruling is expected to give a serious blow to Samsung in Australia as the market is approaching the holiday shopping season.
With the Galaxy 10.1-inch model, Samsung also has a 7.7-inch tablet which was introduced at the consumer electronics show in Berlin, in September.
``Samsung will request a preliminary sales ban on the Apple iPhone 4S in Australia as well. Also, we are positive of a win in the higher court,’’ said the executive. Consumers in Australia can buy the iPhone 4S from Oct. 14.
The representative of Apple’s Korean office Steve Park declined to comment.
The patent row between Samsung and its top client Apple started in April after the Cupertino-based company sued the former in San Francisco for its violation of patents over Samsung’s Galaxy-branded tablets and smartphones, insisting that those products copied the design of the Apple iPhone and iPad.
The fight has expanded to Europe, as well as Japan and Samsung’s home-turf of Korea. The company asked courts in Paris and Milan to ban sales of the iPhone 4S because of patent infringement.
Samsung became the second-biggest patent holder in the United States in 2007. Last year, it registered 4,518 patents there.
So far, it has some 28,700 patents, making it possible to continue its hard-line stance against Apple, according to officials.