The knives came out today in the cat fight between Apple and Samsung with Samsung Counsel David Catterns telling Justice Bennett in the Australia Federal Court that the patent fight between the two giants was all about Apple “marketing” and not patent breaches.
His comments came after Counsel for Apple Steven Burley, opened his clients patent claim against Samsung by pulling out two “white” packages that the iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 were shipped in.
He claimed that they were similar. He then referred to the design of the two devices as being similar.
Samsung Counsel responded claiming that hearing had “nothing to do with white boxes or even the design of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet” he said.
He claimed that the case centred on three patents which had been whittled down from 13 that Apple originally claimed Samsung had breached.
When it came to touch and gesture patents Catterns said that what Samsung had incorporated into their tablet design was “significantly” different than what Apple was claiming as being their patented gesture technology.
Earlier Counsel for Apple claimed that Samsung had informed Apple that they intend to launch their Galaxy 10.1″ tablet this coming Friday. Samsung, agreed in August to delay a planned release of the Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Australia until Bennett rules on Apple’s request for an injunction barring the sale of the products.
He sought an application to have the Samsung product barred from sale in Australia because it would unfairly steal from iPad sales, an Apple lawyer said.
It must have been “as plain as the Opera House to Samsung” that the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed Apple patents, Burley, said at the start of the hearing in before Justice Bennett in the Federal Court. “They ought to clear the way in advance rather than attempt to crash through.”
The Court heard that Samsung had altered its Galaxy 10.1 tablet from a U.S. version that Apple claimed infringed 10 of its patents, for release in Australia. The Australian version, although with “reduced functionality,” still infringes at least three patents, according to Burley. Catterns for Samsung denied the Australian tablet has reduced functionality.
Lawyers for Apple told Justice Bennet Samsung had deliberately copied the iPad 2 design, in addition to its capabilities.
“Not only have they copied the iPad 2, they have copied as many features of the device as they can” claimed Burley.
“This case has nothing to do with form factor, shape or white boxes,” Samsung counsel retorted.
“It is inconceivable that a patent as trivial as this (referring to the ‘swipe gesture’ patent) will restrain our launch,” he added.
The three patents under dispute, which Apple allege Samsung pinched for its new tab relate to : touchscreen technology, heuristics (swipe gesture) and selective rejection touch sensor panel (relates to user contact and point of touch to screen).
Well, not so fast, say Apple, who argue Samsung had an “eyes wide open” strategy and with $120 billion revenue in Australia, it had the resources to pinch its patents profile, with ease.
Apple, who argued it would suffer a loss of business and ‘inconvenienced’ by the arrival of the alleged clone to the iPad, not only to its own business which has been majorly boosted by tablet launch but also to third party developers who supply apps to Apple OS.
However, Samsung rejected this, saying Apple ‘inconvenience’ is that is has an “attractive competiting product” which it argues is superior and thinner than iPad.
“It’s the thinness of the device that concerns them, it is formidable because it is thinner,”
Apple didn’t care about the alleging features until we came up with a more attractive product,” he added.