Over the last year, Apple has been gaining the reputation of being somewhat litigious when it comes to tablet computers and Smartphone technology. Apple’s most recent legal target has been Samsung, the South Korean based multinational company. Since April of this year, patent lawsuits have been furiously flying back and forth between the technology giants. By August 2011, there were 19 ongoing lawsuits in 12 courts across the globe. By October legal battles were ongoing in ten countries on four of the world’s continents. Impressive.
What’s interesting to note about all of this is the close ties between the two companies. According to The Economist, 26 percent of Apple iPhones are comprised of Samsung parts. Yet, despite the prodigious lawsuits, the multinationals recently agreed to continue their symbiotic “supply-side” relationship through at least 2012, and possibly beyond.
In August 2011, a German court ruled in Apple’s favor, effectively banning Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the E.U. Subsequent court cases softened the ruling, limiting the injunction only to the German market. Not to be outdone, Samsung immediately took to redesigning the Galaxy Tab, specifically for sale in Germany. The redesigned slate skirted the contentious patent infringement issues. By November, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N was available for order via Cyberport, a German electronics retailer. The 16GB model was selling on the company’s website for €549.
Meanwhile, back in Australia
In October 2011, an Australian federal court granted Apple’s request for an injunction against Samsung. This ruling also denied Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Last week, the federal court overturned the decision, opening the door to Samsung to sell the device “down under”. In regards to the ruling, Samsung stated:
The Full Court of Australia decision on November 30 clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Not surprisingly, Apple appealed the decision.
Today, Australia’s High Court refused Apple’s application to appeal the decision via a special expedited application. According to Robert French, the High Court’s chief justice:
We see insufficient prospects of success on the part of Apple to demonstrate on appeal to this court error by the full court.
Soon afterwards, Samsung said in a statement that the Galaxy Tab 10.1:
…will be available in stores in time for the Christmas shopping period.