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Samsung's 10.1-inch Tab stabbed by Apple lawsuit

Samsung's plans to launch a version of its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab in Australia have been railroaded by Apple, who has extended its lawsuit to stop Samsung from launching anything until the lawsuit is settled and/or the courts grant approval.

Although every car has similar wheels, a similar control and gear changing system, similar engines, similar seating and many, many more similarities, there are limits to what can be copied without infringing on patents.

When Apple saw Samsung's latest smartphones and tablets, the crunchy company clearly hit the roof, and decided that one of its major manufacturing partners needed a legal slapping.

While that lawsuit wasn't able to stop sales of the Samsung Galaxy S II, which Apple says is an example of Samsung 'slavishly copying' Apple's designs, it has thrown a spanner into the works of Samsung's previously impending local 10.1-inch launch.

Due to happen later this month, it's now impossible to say when, or even if, Samsung will be allowed to sell it down under.

Media reports say that Apple has based its claim to stop Samsung selling its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab in Australia based on the model Samsung has for the US, with the Australian version exhibiting some differences, but if there are any differences, they clearly weren't enough to prevent this action from stopping the Tab's local launch.

Indeed, Bloomberg reports that Apple's legal representatives claim the Samsung 10.1 infringes 10 of Apple's patents.

Apple is also reportedly claiming that it took the action to seek this injunction of sales due to the fact that Samsung had been promoting the impending launch of its tablet locally.

Then there's the Fairfax Media report that says Apple wants Samsung to deliver its entire stock of 10.1-inch Tabs to Apple to be "destroyed", with Apple even giving Fairfax Media a media comment on the issue, something that's relatively rare for Apple to do.

Perhaps Samsung will be more Apple-like in its secrecy the next time it wants to launch something to prevent any Apple attacks.

However, Samsung also likely hopes that it will be given legal permission to sell products without Apple's supervision or say-so, thus ending the schism that has resulted in the current sales-free situation.

There's also the fact that Samsung has counter-sued Apple in various jurisdictions, so there's a lot of legal wrangling still to be resolved, with the only winners thus far being the lawyers, and Apple, whose iPad 2 sales can continue without Samsung's very iPad 2-esque 10.1-inch Tab muddying the retail waters even further.

So'¦ the tablet wars continue apace, with not only consumers helping to determine who wins this war, but now lawyers, too.



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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.