Samsung gives Apple proposal to end Australia standoff

by Phil Hornshaw

The war between Apple and Android device makers continue to rage, with Samsung taking the brunt of the battle in patent lawsuits all over the world. Now the maker of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is hoping to find a way to call a ceasefire in at least one of those suits.

Currently, Samsung has agreed to delay the release of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, where Apple has alleged that the device infringes on its copyrights for its iPad. Of all the Android devices currently fighting off Apple’s accusations, Samsung has it the worst. Apple already has won bans or injunctions against Samsung’s devices in multiple countries including The Netherlands and Germany, with more suits raging all over the world, including the U.S.

Back in Australia, Samsung, for a while at least, has been trying to play ball. It altered the Galaxy Tab for release in that country in an effort to give Apple what they wanted and back down on the alleged patent infringements in the design of the device. Samsung has now issued a new proposal to Apple, according to a report from Bloomberg, that would end the impasse in Australia and allow Samsung to release the device. The two companies haven’t made the details of the proposal public, though.

If Apple accepts the proposal, it could bring the patent dispute to an end and allow Samsung to sell its Galaxy Tab in Australia. Somehow, that doesn’t seem likely; not only has Apple been actively combatting major challengers to the iPad and iPhone in court, but it also seems to have been working to slow down Android devices in general with patent disputes. It seems doubtful Apple will back down against Samsung without a judge’s order. Unfortunately for Samsung, though, the judge in the case has mentioned that she has no timeframe for how long her decision could take. The hearings are set to resume on Oct. 4.

Samsung has said it will be taking a more aggressive stance against Apple when it comes to patent lawsuits, and it seems that Google is stepping up its efforts to protect its other Android partners in the future when it comes to these legal entanglements, as well. So with the ball in Apple’s court, just how the Australia situation plays out might be an indicator of the Apple/Google fight at large. Will Apple choose to shake hands and settle its trouble with Samsung, or will it continue to go to the mattresses? One could mean a quicker end to all these patent disputes, but the other seems much more likely long-term.