Samsung hopes to deploy a variant of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to escape Apple's patent litigation in Australia.  (Source: BGR)

A leading open source legal expert, though, sees the move differently. He sees Samsung's rhetoric as strawman arguments and says Samsung is effectively admitting guilt by failing to defend itself in court.  (Source: Constant Trek)
"You can't win, [Apple]. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Apple Inc's (AAPL) victory in banning the Australian sales of the hot Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO:005930) may have been dealt a setback on Tuesday, when the South Korean manufacturer revealed a plan to allow the device to legally launch on the Aussie market.

I. Hope for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia?

Samsung, whose products are the subject of multiple Apple lawsuits [1][2], had previously agreed to comply to a preliminary injunction saying it would cease sales.  However, a spokesperson told that a modified variant would launch shortly, skirting Apple's restrictions.

The spokesperson comments:
Apple Inc. filed a complaint with the Federal Court of Australia involving a Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 variant that Samsung Electronics had no plans of selling in Australia. No injunction was issued by the court and the parties in the case reached a mutual agreement which stipulates that the variant in question will not be sold in Australia.

A Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future.

This undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries.

Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business.
Samsung, one of the world's largest intellectual property holders, is countersuing Apple.  However, Apple has a key advantage on holding patents on much of the multitouch technology smartphone users take for granted today.  While there's a great deal of prior art (similar work dates back to research institutions in the 1980s) and similar patents (Microsoft also holds multitouch IP, hence why Apple can't sue it), those sweeping patents are still dangerous to Android device makers, thanks to the messy state of international patent offices.

In order to avoid the injunction, Samsung might have to remove multi-touch from its device.  That would involve modifying the operating system, which in turn might necessitate removing Honeycomb (Android 3.x) for an older version of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) mobile operating system.

II. Is Samsung's Cooperation with Apple an Effective Admission of Guilt?

FOSS Patents, a blog of software legal experts who have been covering the case, criticizes Samsung's decision to cooperate with the injunction as an admission of guilt.  Writes Florian Mueller, "If Samsung believed that the U.S. version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't infringe any of Apple's rights, it would have defended itself as a matter of principle."

Further, he writes that the recent statement from Samsung was "very weak" and points out that the company has not announced any official date for the arrival of the new variant.  He also points out that Apple will likely have to approve of the modifications first.

Mr. Mueller accuses Samsung of construct "strawman argument[s]" against Apple -- misrepresenting its opponent's position and then claiming to contradict the misrepresentation.

He writes:

The Sydney Morning Herald listed Apple's patents-in-suit at the end of this article. Theoretically, Samsung could indeed build an Australian Galaxy Tab 10.1 that would not infringe those patents, but in order to work around those patents, it wouldat least suffer serious degradations of the user experience, potentially even the removal of all multi-touch functionality. That kind of product could of course be built, but who would want to buy it?
I invite Samsung to explain why the Australian version of the product will be more defensible than the U.S. version as far as Apple's asserted, mostly multi-touch-related, patents are concerned. Absent a plausible explanation, Samsung's comment on the Australian situation only serves as additional confirmation that Apple is making headway (which doesn't necessarily mean that Apple will get an injunction, but Samsung doesn't exude confidence as far as the asserted patents are concerned).

So which is this latest tactic from Samsung -- a weak effort to save face or a legitimate strategy to safeguard its assets?  The answer is highly subjective and speculative.  But at the very least, Samsung isn't out of the woods yet, no matter how many modifications it makes.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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