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Apple claims Samsung knew it was infringing its patents

Verdict of Australian injunction expected this week

Samsung must have known it was infringing Apple patents for the iPad with its own tablet PC, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the tech giant has claimed.

According to the Wall Street Journal Apple lawyer, Steven Burley, told Australia's Federal court: "It must have been as plain as the Opera House to Samsung that the Apple patents were right in front of its eyes and they were wide open".

"They ought to clear the way in advance rather than try to crash through," he added.

At the beginning of last month, Apple approached Australian courts in a bid to obtain an injunction that would prevent Samsung from selling the device in the country. Apple claimed the tablet PC infringes 10 patents relating to the iPad, three of which relate to the touchscreen technology including one which covers "selective rejection" technology ensuring accidental touches to the iPad don’t result in programs being launched. Apple also alleges Samsung has been misleading consumers by insinuating the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a version of the iPad 2 and offers the same performance as Apple's tablet PC.

The Australian suit is now one of more than 20 filed by Apple across the globe in a bid to stop Samsung selling the device.

Samsung voluntarily agreed to postpone the Australian launch of the device until the legal action had been resolved. A court verdict is expected this week.

Burley also said the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is similar in "form, factor and shape" to the iPad 2. Furthermore, even the packaging is identical to the box the iPad 2 comes in.

Samsung’s lawyer, David Catterns, disputes Apple’s claims and even went as far as to suggest the case itself is based upon functions that would have a “negligible” impact on sales of the iPad 2.

"It is inconceivable that a patent as trivial as that will restrain our launch," he said.

Last week, Samsung retaliated by filling a countersuit with the same court alleging Apple’s iPad and iPhone infringes its wireless patents.

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