Apple patent row halts launch of Samsung tablet

Samsung has delayed the Australian launch of its latest Galaxy tablet due to a patent dispute with Apple.

Apple patent row halts launch of Samsung tablet

Samsung and Apple have been locked in an acrimonious battle over smartphones and tablets patents, but this is the first time the legal tussle has delayed a product launch.

“The Australian decision obviously isn’t binding in any way upon the courts in other countries, but the fact that Samsung didn’t just stand up to defend the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 serves as an indication that Apple’s allegations probably have some merit,” Florian Mueller, a technology patent specialist blogger said.

Samsung said it had agreed with Apple not to sell a variant of the tablet in Australia yet.

“A Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future. This undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries,” the Korean company said in a statement.

Ongoing battle

The legal battle between the two companies has been building since April, when Apple sued Samsung in a US federal court, alleging the South Korean company’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets “slavishly” copied the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has countersued Apple.

In the Australian case, Apple has claimed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes upon 10 Apple patents and the pair are fighting over patents in other courts around the world.

The intensifying quarrel between Samsung and Apple has triggered expectations that some of the pair’s $5 billion-plus relationship may be up for grabs. Samsung counts Apple as its biggest customer and makes parts central to Apple’s mobile devices.

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