Samsung is fighting back at an Australian injunction against its Galaxy 10.1, seeking bans on Apple’s iPhone 4S handsets and escalating the worldwide legal battle between the rivals.
The South Korean tech company today said it wants courts in Australia and Japan to ban Apple’s newest smartphone in both countries and to stop sales of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 in Japan, claiming the devices infringe on its wireless communications and user-interface patents.
The injunction requests were made just a few days after Australian Justice Annabelle Bennett ordered a temporary injunction on Samsung’s tablet. Samsung is appealing Bennett’s ruling, after she gave the company two weeks to work on a settlement, resolve the touchscreen technology issue, or appeal.
The Australian battle, even after the injunction, continues to expand. Friday, Apple sought to extend the court’s injunction against Samsung, petitioning the courts to modify the injunction ruling so it could get advance notice of Samsung’s new product releases.
Bennett, however, rejected Apple’s request, as well as another plea that the court restrict the launch of all Samsung’s new tablet computers until a full hearing can be held about the Galaxy tablet.
The judge noted that the injunction, which Samsung says makes the tablet “commercially dead” in Australia, does not extend to other Samsung products.
Other versions of the 10.1, though, could fall under an amended injunction in Australia. Bennett agreed to modify the injunction if it Samsung releases new versions of the tablet, but said wording extending the ban to “any (other) tablet device” would be “well beyond” the original case.
Beyond Australia, the legal battle between the two companies continues to grow more complex, dimming hopes of a settlement.
In yet another ruling, a court in the Netherlands Friday turned down Samsung’s patent claims against Apple, saying a ban would only be possible if Apple had openly rejected a licensing offer from Samsung. Meanwhile, Samsung still has pending ban requests against the iPhone 4S in Italy and France.
Three of Samsung’s smartphones had already been banned in the Netherlands, but the handset maker retooled the devices to get around the patent issues, which continues to be an option for the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Samsung, though, is continuing to roll out more Android devices that may come under attack from Apple as the worldwide fights continue.
On Wednesday, for example, Samsung plans to release the Nexus Prime smartphone, which will be powered by new Android OS update Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone was to have been unveiled on October 11 in San Diego, but Samsung and Google postponed the launch after the death of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Some though, believed the companies delayed the phone over patent fears, not out of respect for Jobs, hoping to wait until after a California judge rules on Apple’s request to ban the Galaxy line. The Nexus may contain some of the same technology under dispute, and could fall under the California ban if released too soon.
Given the acrimonious history between the two companies, the new Samsung phone may face even further delays if Apple adds it to its lengthy list of legal complaints, continuing the battles for some time to come.