Samsung Australia is facing a major revenue shortfall after a Judge sitting in the Federal Court today banned the Korean Company from launching their highly popular Galaxy Tab 10.1 during the peak Xmas buying period.
Justice Bennett sitting in the Federal Court said that Samsung Electronics who also manufactures the highly popular Galaxy II smartphone are prevented from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in its current form in Australia until further notice.
“It is appropriate to grant the interim injunction,” the Judge declared. “The orders I make today are limited,” referring to the interim injunction imposed. The full decision will be read tommorrow Friday in court and a full hearing is set for November, although it is unlikely the outcome will be in Samsung’s favour, with Justice Bennett noting Apple has established “probability” in its favour.
Currently Samsung is witnessing a surge in demand for their communication and PC products after launching a new music hub service last week that delivers content to multiple devices.
Recently Samsung Australia reported a $153 Million dollar fall in revenue in 2010 with profits going from $24.2 Million in 2009 to $21 Million in 2010. A big contributor to this was a fall in demand for flat panel TV’s.
Overall revenue for Samsung Australia in 2010 was $1.5 Billion, which was almost double the $800 Million that arch rival LG Electronics achieved.
During the first six months of 2011 the Company has witnessed record sales of communication and PC gear with executives telling ChannelNews recently that both tablets and smartphones were set to make up for a “shortfall” in revenue from consumer entertainment products.
According to documents lodged with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission Samsung spent over $60 Million on Advertising and Marketing in 2010 in an effort to build their brand in Australia
.Apple Australia sought an interim injunction against the South Korean electronics giant alleging that the Samsung product infringed several patents used in its competing iPad tablet computer. This was eventually whittled down to being 3 key patents including patents relating to Apple two finger touch technology.
Justice Annabelle Bennett upheld the interim injunction and ruled that the Samsung product couldn’t be sold in Australia if it used the features disputed by Apple.
In a ruling that is set to be made public tomorrow Justice Bennett has explained why she has taken her current course of action which is based on the “probability” that Apple could win their patent trial that is now set down for November 2011.
Justice Bennett acknowledged that by the time any “final” decisions are reached that the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 could become a discontinued product.
Sh said: “From April 15 when proceedings commenced in the US, Samsung proceeded with its eyes wide open.
“The balance of convenience was almost even … there were several factors that favoured Apple.”
On October 4, Samsung told the court it would scrap the release of the Galaxy 10.1 if the injunction were granted because missing the Christmas season would make the new tablet “dead” by the time it reached market.
However, Justice Bennett said she had to weigh this consideration against the loss and injury that could be caused to Apple should Samsung be allowed to sell the iPad rival.
Justice Bennett told the parties she would give them the opportunity for an early hearing next month, the result of which would not prejudice the outcome of the full hearing when it came to trial.
Apple reissued a statement shortly after the ruling. The statement said “It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Shortly after the hearing Samsung Australia also issued the following statement.
We are disappointed with this ruling and Samsung will be seeking legal advice on its options. Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple’s claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers.
‘This is a part of our ongoing legal proceeding against Apple’s claim. Samsung is also confident it can prove Apple’s violation of Samsung’s wireless technology patents through a cross claim filed on September 16, 2011 with the Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales.
Our wireless standard patents are essential for mobile business. We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung’s patents and free ride on our technology.