Samsung Electronics has delayed the Australian launch of its latest Galaxy tablet due to a patent dispute with Apple Inc, a setback for the South Korean company’s attempt to close the gap with Apple in the booming tablet market.
Samsung and Apple have been locked in an acrimonious battle over smartphones and tablets patents and this is the first time the legal tussle has delayed the launch of a product by Samsung.
“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 U.S. version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 serves as an indication that Apple’s allegations probably have some merit,” Florian Mueller, a technology specialist and blogger on patent battles said on his blog FOSS Patents.
Samsung said that it and Apple had agreed 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.
The legal battle between the two companies has been building since April when Apple sued Samsung in a U.S. federal court in California. Apple alleges the South Korean company’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets “slavishly” copies the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has countersued Apple.
Apple had sued Samsung in Australia, saying the company’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes upon 10 Apple patents. The two are fighting over patents in other courts around the world including South Korea.