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Samsung countersues Apple in Australia

Claims iPhone and iPad infinge wireless patents

Samsung has filed a claim with an Australian court alleging Apple’s iPad and iPhone infringes its wireless patents.

The claim, which was filed with the Federal Court of Australia on 16 September, is in response to legal action started by Apple at the start of August.

Apple claims the Galaxy smartphone and the Galaxy Tab range of tablet PCs infringe patents it holds for the iPad and the iPhone. However, as the specific patents have not been identified, details of the suits remain unclear.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," Apple said at the time.

During a court hearing at the start of August, Samsung voluntarily agreed to postpone the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the latest iteration of its Galaxy tablet PC, in the country.

The court’s final verdict on the issue is expected to be announced next week.

Last week the company said: "It should be noted that the court has not issued an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the court did not make any ruling during today's hearing.”

However, it has still filed the counter claim, which alleges Apple infringed seven Australian patents owned by Samsung covering the wireless technology used in the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Furthermore, Samsung claims the patents belonging to Apple which it is supposed to have infringed with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 are “invalid” and as a result the legal action should be dropped.

The ongoing battle between the pair has seen more than 20 lawsuits filed across the globe, with Samsung countersuing Apple in South Korea, Japan and Germany already.

Last month, the regional court of Dusseldorf granted a temporary injunction to stop the sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe following Apple's same claim of copyright infringement. However, the ban was subsequently lifted in all EU countries except Germany a week later, as the court was unsure whether it had the power to stop sales in the whole of the EU. Although, last week the same court upheld the preliminary injunction, which means Samsung is still unable to sell the device in Germany

Apple did not comment on the matter.


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