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  (Source: Mother Truth Blog)
France court also refuses Samsung's request to ban Apple's iPhone 4S; pair forced to compete on the market

Australian shoppers may finally themselves scratching their heads in dumbfoundment when they are greeted by the gourgeous display of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) popular Galaxy Tab 10.1.  "Is this a free market again?" they may wonder.

Well, yes.  The wheels of justice have been turning and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) attempt to replicate it's government-enforced monopoly it enjoys on modern "minimalist" tablets (thin, rectangular, touch-driven, with few redundant face buttons) in Germany was struck down by an Australian appeals court.

To recap:

The original ban was put in place by Justice Annabelle Bennett said that Apple had a prima facie case regarding infringement, or in English, that it appeared at first glance that Samsung's infringement was self-evident given the facts.  

Specifically, she said that Samsung appeared to be infringing on an Apple touch-input heuristics patent (AU 2007286532) and a patent involving the manufacturing process used to make the iPad/iPad 2 touch screen (AU 2005246219).  The decision came in October; over two months after Samsung agreed to temporarily halt sales while Justice Bennett ponder the preliminary injunction.

Cheered by the win, Apple looked to extend its reach to Samsung tablets of all sizes, banning the Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1v, which had not yet been explicitly banned in the region.  Apple's lawyer made his bid at a full monopoly on "minimalist" designs commenting, "Samsung says Galaxy Tab 10.1, we say any tablet device."

It was there that it was dealt its first setback in the Australian court campaign.  Justice Annabelle Bennett dismissed the request for more preliminary injunction bans, saying she was not convinced that this "rolling mandatory injunction" (as Samsung's attorney labeled it) was warranted.  Apple would not have its blanket monopoly.  But it least had one triumph in its cap.

Following that decision, Samsung offered to make peace with Apple in October, but Apple refused.

Then at the end of November a panel of three judges -- Justices John Dowsett, Lindsay Foster and David Yates -- dealt a harsh blow to Apple, ruling that Judge Bennett's logic in delivering a preliminary injunction was "grossly unjust" and complained that she "misunderstood and misapplied" the basics of Australian law regarding preliminary injunctions.  They did force Samsung to endure one last delay, allowing apple to appeal the appeal.

Back to Present:

Fast forward a week and a half and a second panel of three Sydney, Australia High Court judges unanimously agreed to dismiss Apple's application for special leave to appeal the Federal Court's repeal of the sales ban.

Time to Tab

That means the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can now launch, just in time for Christmas.  The local Herald Sun paper reports that it will be priced at $579 AU and $729 AU for the WiFi and WiFi+3G models ($1 AU = $1.02 USD).

While damage has been done to Samsung's bottom line, at least its suffering is at last come to an end.

Apple bitterly refused to comment on the defeat.

Samsung Also Humbled:

In what some are hailing as a similar victory for free market competition and a similar move towards ending to anticompetitive litigation, Samsung's request to get a preliminary injunction banning iPhone 4S sales in France was struck down.  Based on the wording of the Reuters report, it sounds that Samsung's case will still be heard (as in Apple's Australian case), but that the court ordered Samsung to pay "100,000 euros ($133,900)" of Apple's legal costs for inappropriately request a preliminary injunction.

While some would like to see Apple or Samsung successfully ban the other's products in internation courts, many have grown frustrated with the pair's 80+ lawsuits.  

Of course Apple started the fight, with late CEO and company co-founder Steven Jobs calling Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system a "stolen product" and vowing to spend all of his company's money, if necessary to "destroy" manufacturers using Android.

But some would rather let the pair fight their war on the free market, spending their money on bettering their products, rather than trying to buy a victory by instead funneling that money to finance high-powered legal teams, an expenditure which would do little good for customers.

The Free Market
Some people are opposed to companies using litigation as an anticompetitive tool to ban each other's products, regardless of who started the fight and who wins it.
[Image Source: The Free Market]

So far that's more or less what has happening.  Courts in the U.S. and now Australia have refused to grant Apple's request for a sales ban, while a court in the Netherlands rejected Apple's efforts to ban slightly modified Samsung devices, which removed what the court ruled was an infringing feature.  Similarly courts in the Netherlands, and now France, have rejected Samsung's counter efforts to ban the iPhone 4S.

Thus far the only ban still in effect is the German court order, which grants Apple a blanket monopoly of the "minimalist" tablet space.  The greater sentiment of the judicial system will soon be tested, though, as Samsung has submitted a redesigned tablet that, while still rectangular, removes virtually any design similarities in color scheme or I/O input placement between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab tablets.  

Apple wants the new design banned from sale -- after all it is a tablet.  It should be interesting to see if the German court continues to live in its own reality which appears to be distinctly separate from its European Union and international peers.

Sources: The Herald Sun (AU), Reuters

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RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/10/2011 2:24:40 PM , Rating: -1
All tablets before before the iPad were a failure. None sold in anything other than pitifully small quantities. Before the iPad the tablet market was utterly moribund. Then came the iPad which became an almost instant success. This one product galvanised the tablet market, it actually created a tablet market, and everybody rushed to bring out their own 'me to' products to try to grab a part of this market. Samsung saw the iPad and thought we can make one of those. It made one of those that looks just like an iPad.

Apple has a long history of product innovation and product trend setting. There is also a long history of people copying Apple's products. Sometimes this copying is quite subtle, more like Apple just setting the general design trends, other times the copying is very blatant.

Probably some people would argue Apple isn't innovative, that Apple just copies, they Apple isn't copied much etc but, we all know none of that is true. We all know Apple has had a lot of it's products copied.

Apple's core business strategy hinges on product differentiation. So other people copying Apple's products is a problem for the company, it undermines product differentiation and, because almost all the copies are tangibly inferior, it undermines Apple's brand.

Apple almost certainly knows that it cannot stop completely, or permanently, the copying of it's products but it has the resources to wage a wide ranging legal campaign of attrition to make copying Apple's products a more fraught, a more expensive and perhaps a more dangerous strategy. Apple probably thinks that that is the best it can do, make copying harder, slow it down a bit, deter it a bit.

It's not as if Apple started the patent wars. Those started as it became obvious that we were entering a new technology period when the old Wintel desktop world had started to fade and where vast sums and fortunes awaited those who could be successful in the new mobile device markets. Lots of companies started to sue each other. The most significant law suite is that between Oracle and Google whose out come we should know sometime in 2012.

I expect the web of law suites to go on for a time yet. Apple, I think, will persist in using the law to try to make copying it's products more difficult. Sometimes Apple will be successful, sometimes it won't. But even when it loses Apple's actions help make the copyists life harder.

Meanwhile Apple is working on what comes after the iPad and after the iPhone.

Samsung isn't. Because Samsung hasn't seen what Apple is working on yet

RE: I could be wrong but...
By JediJeb on 12/10/2011 8:19:19 PM , Rating: 5
I don't have a problem with what Apple makes, or what they come up with. But when someone can make a similar product and sell it for half the price, then that just means that Apple is charging twice as much as they should for the same product. When I shop for a product I am looking for the most bang for the buck, if Apple can give that then I would buy from Apple, is Samsung can offer me the same thing for a lower price then I will buy from them. That is what the free market is about.

When I think of Apple complaining so much about the tablet design, I think where Apple would be if Motorola had been granted complete and exclusive rights to cellphones. Motorola was the first to design a hand held cellphone, should they be asking courts to block sales of the iPhone since it is a handheld cellphone? Can you imagine where cellphones would be now if only Motorola had been able to make them?

Apple's market is pretty much locked in with their fan base, but if there is no competition will the tablet progress as quickly in design changes as it would if there were no competition to worry about? If there had been no competition in the cellphone market we might still be packing around bricks with us. Also if all the money spent on legal fees were spend on R&D we could progress even faster. Apple needs to worry less about blocking competition and more about advancing the electronics world. Same goes for all the other companies the spend more money in court trying to defend patents than they do on actually producing something based on those patents(Apple isn't as much this type as say someone like Rambus is).

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: I could be wrong but...
By sprockkets on 12/10/2011 9:31:45 PM , Rating: 1
That's because Apple refused Moto's FRAND terms, not because they sued first asked questions never.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: I could be wrong but...
By Paj on 12/11/2011 8:00:57 AM , Rating: 4
Or that their products break faster

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: I could be wrong but...
By its tom hanks on 12/11/2011 10:18:33 AM , Rating: 4
Presumably in secret as Apple consistently tops all reliability and customer satisfaction surveys :)

well, when a company's entire consumer base is a bunch of fanboy fucktards who have achieved ALL of their social status through the apple logos they flaunt around, of course they're going to "say" that the iphone is the best, they don't know any better. It must be quite a scientific study though, I'm sure. so that put in your apple-holy-ness equation and rerun the numbers

RE: I could be wrong but...
By its tom hanks on 12/11/2011 10:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
edit: "put that" (tony wouldn't have been able to figure it out on his own, I didn't want to confuse him with the typo, he's just an apple fanboy)

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: I could be wrong but...
By MechanicalTechie on 12/11/2011 8:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
What is wrong with you Tony.. We all know you only defend Apple because of your invested interests in the company... This is a technology site... the combined knowledge of people at this site is far superior than your general public iTools... don't you find it interesting that your the only one defending Apple here?

You think we'll all wrong because the general public who are techo-retards know better? Sheep will follow other sheep!

I've seen your blogs on other sites and you get ripped all the time.. your pathetic!

I really wanna know how much Apple is paying you? Is it worth it?

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: I could be wrong but...
By MechanicalTechie on 12/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: I could be wrong but...
By themaster08 on 12/12/2011 3:19:57 AM , Rating: 4
You see, that's your problem right there, my friend.

You think Apple's gadgets are the best technology. You're unable to fathom, that it may just be possible, there are people out there that genuinely prefer Samsung's Galaxy Tab, or the Asus Transformer, or another device, having tried the iPad.

Remaining ignorant to the alternatives doesn't automatically makes Apple's products better. How would you know unless you've tried? Have you actually tried an Android phone or tablet? What about a Windows Phone? No, of course you haven't. You prefer to ride on the wave of ignorance that Apple's products are better.

There are a lot of people that think like yourself (or don't think at all). You have no desire to try alternatives, because you've become so entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. Many are content with their iPad, or iPhone, and that's fine, but to say they're the best on the pure basis of your own ignorance and Apple's popularity is absurd. By your logic, Windows is a far superior OS to OS X.

You're clsed minded and irrational. You're unable to accept any constructive criticism towards Apple. You're unable to see how, for some people, other products may have more value. You scorn at the alternatives having never even tried them, as you did with the Asus Transformer Prime. You're unable to debate logically because of your bias. You're a troll and nothing more.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By hexxthalion on 12/12/2011 12:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
it must really hurt you not be part of it. get over it, get a mac and smile

RE: I could be wrong but...
By SilentBobDC on 12/12/2011 8:49:04 AM , Rating: 1
Also interesting is the fact that many people have to sign an NDA to get a product replaced. We've seen cases of this cited here and other places with the exploding/burning iPhones. Hey, want that replaced, just don't tell anyone it broke and we'll hook you up, a very cheap tactic. Also, I've yet to see an android phone with a broken screen as they mainly use gorilla glass to enhance durability. I've seen no less than 10 patients with broken iPhone screens. My 1st gen droid has been dropped onto tile with no ill effects and to prove a point I've even whacked the screen with a metal graston tool to prove its durability. People with iPhones FREAK when I do that, they're afraid to sneeze on their phone as they know how fragile the screens are.

Don't think there's a difference in designed durability. Watch this... please say its special effects:

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/12/2011 10:10:50 AM , Rating: 1
Also interesting is the fact that many people have to sign an NDA to get a product replaced. We've seen cases of this cited here and other places with the exploding/burning iPhones.

Silly paranoid conspiracy theory nonsense. Show me some evidence to back that up.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Pirks on 12/12/2011 4:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Tony, looks like your old BS about MS products being arcane and not liked by general public are getting even more stale and ridiculous, as there are fresh news about MS selling 1 million Xboxes in ONE WEEK, that should plug your "MS is a pain for general consumer" mantra forever now, don't you agree Tony? ;))

RE: I could be wrong but...
By its tom hanks on 12/11/2011 10:21:30 AM , Rating: 2
that's why Apple's sales keep doubling year after year. I suppose Apple fans must just breed quickly :)

ya too bad their market share can't say that same, perhaps fans of real tech company's breed faster :)

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Pirks on 12/12/2011 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
their market share can't say that same
Market share is less important than profits. MS has like 100% market share on desktop PCs but their revenue and profits are smaller. Think about it.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By testerguy on 12/11/2011 8:00:34 AM , Rating: 1
But when someone can make a similar product and sell it for half the price, then that just means that Apple is charging twice as much as they should for the same product

Well lets not get carried away.

The product Samsung came up with is vastly, vastly inferior, so comparing prices is ridiculous anyway. Lets make that very clear.

But even if it wasn't, you miss the point. A lot of the cost associated with products is the R&D - the design, the engineering - all of which are taken out if you 'copy' the work of others. That's why there exist such concept as patents and copyright. Samsung blatantly copied Apples work and, of course, makes far less profit because they can't appeal to customers in any other way - but much of that cost reduction came because they basically ripped off existing designs, instead of investing in some of their own innovative ideas.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By BZDTemp on 12/11/2011 8:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
Saying the pad from Samsung is vastly inferior is getting carried away.

As for Samsung copying vs. Apple doing R&D that is fun to hear considering the statements made by Apple in the past regarding how to steal ideas and that Apple is shamelessly doing so (if you you need to be reminded ).

I used to like Apple but Apple has become as bad as Microsoft if not worse :-(

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Helbore on 12/12/2011 5:42:05 AM , Rating: 3
How much money do you think it cost Apple's R&D department in order to decide the iPad should be a rectangle with a border?

Apple did not invent or manufacture the LCD displays in the iPad.

Apple did not invent the ARM architecture that runs the guts of the iPad.

They didn't invent the cellular or wifi radios that give it network connectivity.

They made iOS and that's it (and even that is just based on BSD, which they didn't invent, either). Samsung haven't ripped off iOS, because if you look at the Galaxy Tab, it's interface is nothing like iOS.

What people fail to understand about the tablet market is that Apple didn't magically invent a product that reinvigorated a stagnant market. IT was simply that large touchscreens were always too expensive and x86 processors were too power-hungry. Apple simply released a tablet when the associated technologies (ARM SoCs, NAND flash, large capacitive touchscreens) were at an affordable level to make a tablet with. IF they tried several year prior, they'd have a tablet like all the others on the market at the time.

The companies responsible for the innovation are those who develop and build the SoCs (people like Ti, Qualcomm, etc) and flash technologies (like Intel, Micron, Samsung, etc). Apple's hardware R&D consisted of choosing what bits that other people made should go into their device - but that should be no more patentable than me deciding to put my clothes in a drawer that is the right size to fit them in.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By ati666 on 12/12/2011 10:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
RE: I could be wrong but...
By Paj on 12/11/2011 8:10:56 AM , Rating: 1
You could say that Apple 'copied' existing tablets, used their undeniable marketing nous and made a successful product. But it would be incorrect to say that they 'invented' tablets.

You could also say that the ipad design looks suspiciously like a samsung digital photoframe from 2006 - even before the iphone came out - and that samsung were just continuing that design for their tablets.

Apple does not have a long history of product innovation - They have had just as much failure as they have success. Remember the Pippin? The Newton? The Mac Mini? Dismal failures.

But no one remembers them like they remember Vista, and this has been Apple's towering strength over it's competitors. They have almost godlike PR and marketing. They have the strongest brand in the world. With that, you can make people believe anything they want.

RE: I could be wrong but...
By Tony Swash on 12/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: I could be wrong but...
By nikon133 on 12/12/2011 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 1
I can see it now:

Beware the... iPadhone!!! (iPhonad?)

But seriously. I don't think iPad is that original at all - it is nothing but amalgam of iPod, Palm PDAs, well Apple Newton of course. The only thing Apple did right was timing - they picked perfect moment when technology allowed for (reasonably) affordable big touch screens and SoC capable of providing enough muscle.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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