Wednesday, 10 August 2011 19:57

Samsung fights back in Galactic iBattle


With Samsung planning to launch its Galaxy Tab 10.1 (or versions thereof) in India 'on Wednesday' and Australia in September following the EU injunction that is seeing Galaxy 10.1's taken off store shelves where it was already on sale.

Although Apple has won some initial battles in Australia and the EU save the Netherlands to stop the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung isn't taking court injunctions lying down.

After all, just as has Apple, it has stock to sell, and more than one country to sell it in, and I'm not sure there are any actual laws preventing the creation of thin electronics, although copyright issues in designs, icons and even packaging are issues Apple's fighting on its rights for, something that cannot be denied the company and for which it could well have a legitimate claim.

Perhaps it's a lesson that if you want to closely emulate a competitor, you still need to firmly deliver your own personality into your products, rather than having designs which could easily be mistaken for those of your primary competitor - and manufacturing customer.

Indeed, as iTWire reported, Samsung said in its Australian battle with Apple that 'No injunction was issued by the court and the parties in the case reached a mutual agreement which stipulates that the variant in question will not be sold in Australia'.

Samsung also stated to iTWire that 'A Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future', that 'this undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries', and that Samsung would defend and protect its IP.

But as CNET has noted, Samsung's statement this time around makes no such promises, with Samsung expressing its disappointment in the decision and its intention 'to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world'.

And as we know, Samsung has pointed out that the EU 'request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.'

Its statement also promises that: 'We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world', while making the presumably-to-be-tested claim that 'This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.'

But while all this has been happening, Samsung's Senior Veep of Global Marketing, Younghee Lee, was busily preparing to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in India - and being interviewed by Reuters.

Mr Lee told Reuters that Samsung was launching the Tab 10.1 'in India on Wednesday and in Australia in September'.

With reports in the UK that the Tab 10.1 was selling well, the sales stoppages come at an opportune time for Apple, now that iPad 2 availability has eased, making it much easier to actually get your hands on one of its tablets, as opposed to the four months or more of hard-to-getness.

It's also a clear sign to competing tablet makers as to what sells - and as I noted earlier - I don't think there's any law against thin electronics, although if you want a real legal opinion, Apple's lawyers are probably very happy to give you one!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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