Bloomberg News

Apple Claims Samsung Tablet, Phone Cases Infringe Patents

December 21, 2011

(Updates with next hearing in tenth paragraph.)

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung phones infringe its patents and registered design.

Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.

The latest claims further expand patent disputes between the two companies that have spread across four continents. Apple and Samsung have filed more than 30 lawsuits against each other, according to the Suwon, South Korea-based company.

The case dispute was disclosed at the end of a seven-hour hearing at which Apple attempted to persuade Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett to delay a scheduled trial in Sydney on Samsung’s claims that Apple’s iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2, infringe its patents governing wireless transmissions on 3G networks.

“This matter can’t be ready in time for March,” Burley said. “It’d be unfair to Apple if the case were to be hurried on.”

Evidence Collection

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, needs time to gather experts, who must file reports, and will need time to collect evidence to defend itself, Burley said.

Howard opposed the request, saying the trial can proceed as scheduled.

Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones last quarter, dropped its bid for a temporary injunction barring Apple from selling the iPhones and iPad 2 and instead agreed to the early hearing, Howard said.

The company would be “severely prejudiced” if the trial were delayed, she told the judge.

Bennett deferred a decision on Apple’s request and will hold another hearing Feb. 3. She told the companies to proceed with evidence and expert testimony gathering.

The Australian trial will be a prelude for Samsung in its U.S. case before the International Trade Commission on similar claims. Burley had said at an earlier hearing that will be heard in May and June.

--Editors: Douglas Wong, Edward Johnson

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net;


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