back to article Apple versus Samsung: key points in the ruling

Yesterday’s (October 13) judgment granting Apple its requested injunction preventing Samsung from selling its Galaxy 10.1 fondleslab in Australia has been published. Available on Austlii here, the lengthy decision by Justice Annabelle Bennett boils down to consideration of which party would be most harmed by a decision either …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Jean-Paul

    Fanboys 2 - 0 Fandroids

    Come on get in. Innovate and be original Samsung, stop being a bullying copycat.

    1. Craigness

      oh dear

      You don't bully someone by being taken to court to face doctored images of your product. Would the world be better off if only one TV maker was allowed to supply remote controls with their TVs and used the State to bully anyone who designed a similar user interface concept?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Which is Which?

        I don't they need to have bothered doctoring the images...!/FedcourtJunkie/status/124600966875058176

        Even Samsungs lawyers had a little difficulty telling the actual products apart it seems. Of course this proves nothing and is only anecdotal

        1. ZillaOfManilla

          Easy to tell

          I find the word Samsung written on one, and a logo of an apple with a bite out of it, the easiest way to decipher which one is which.

          I also think that if you are browsing the internet to make your purchase, it is going to be obvious.

          This whole thing is madness.

        2. amanfromearth

          A better link

          here's the skinny from Reuters.

          "Koh <the judge> frequently remarked on the similarity between each company's tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.

          "Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

          "Can any of Samsung's lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer."

          Full report:

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Interesting that in the picture used on that article the person holding the tablets covers up the button on the iPad...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Easy one your honour

            The fruity one is the one that emtpied your honours bank account whereas the Android one is the one that does everything the other one does and has pretty much exactly the same or even more capabilities but costs your honour a shed load less cash. Oh and it has Samsung written on it.

            There that fixed it.

            It's called compettion but one litigant is afraid of it.

          3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

            A better link, thanks amanfromearth

            Shock!! Horror!! Apple admits there are not the first to make a fondle slab

            "Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Apple's product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Apple's patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before".

            Translation: There's prior art, but this is an apple development of the previous designs so the prior art doesn’t count.

            Translation: Complete and utter Bollocks from a conceited cnut of an crApple lawyer.

            By the same logic, Samsung's product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Samsung's patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before.

            Fanbois, please feel free to downvote this post, like I give a flying fuck what you think.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Can't think of a title

            I have that problem when I walk into Best Buy and can't tell a difference between the tv's on the wall until I get a bit closer (aside from picture quality and size). If t.v. manufacturers aren't bending each other over on the shape and appearance of the frame, then why is Apple so special?

        3. Peter 48

          Proves nothing

          the same would have happened if you had held up an HP Slate, Xoom, Acer Icona or any other similar sized tablet in black with the screen turned off. Still Samsung should nevertheless fire their defence team for such a blundered statement. They should have retorted by asking the judge if she could tell the difference between an ipad and samsung's photoframe from 2006.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Hey judge if i hold up a lump of cheddar and ask if its taw valley extra mature or cathedral mild and smooth which one would you say it was? Try eating the fucker and then you'll know!

        4. Morri

          They must be a bit special-

          If they can see through the top of there heads!

      2. Jean-Paul


        You are so missing the point. Small company creates huge success, large company thinks I want some of that and copies what small company has instead of using its large resources to invent something new. Large company did not even consider that small company would dare to come after them to protect what is theirs and is protected. So now not only in Europe, but also in Australia.

        Ultimately the consumer wins when big company wakes up and decides to use its resources to create something of their own instead of copy what others have already done. That in turn puts small company on its toes again. Everybody is a winner.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Jean-Paul - I honestly can't tell if you are trolling or if you seriously believe that Apple is a small company. If you are serious then can I suggest that your perception of what is small and what is large is completely and utterly bolloxed beyond belief.

          1. Jean-Paul

            @AC 15:03 Large/Small perception

            Not trolling much, more like rubbing it in :)

            I'm serious about the large/small company, it is all relative

            Employees - Samsung 200k, Apple 50k

            Revenue - Samsung 133Bn, Apple 65Bn

            Assets - Samsung 113Bn, Apple 75Bn

            Do I need to continue? Apple is small compared to Samsung

            PS. 3 nil now :)

          2. Morri

            There both big

            Values from Wikipedia-


            Revenue US$ 220.1 billion (2010)

            Net income US$ 21.2 billion (2010)

            Total assets US$ 343.7 billion (2010)

            Total equity US$ 141.1 billion (2010)

            Employees 344,000 (2010)


            Revenue US$ 65.23 billion (FY 2010)

            Operating income US$18.39 billion (FY 2010)

            Profit US$ 14.01 billion (FY 2010)

            Total assets US$ 75.18 billion (FY 2010)

            Total equity US$ 47.79 billion (FY 2010)

            Employees 49,400 (2010)

        2. Craigness


          Your comment was a reply to my jibe about Apple copying the on-keyboard voice control, which itself was a reply to a nudge/wink about apple copying the notification panel. So you know this is about Apple copying Android. You go on about the small company creating a success, which must relate to Samsung in this 2-party argument because apple is an enormous company - market cap of $390bn compared with Exxon at $380bn and behemoths such as Walmart and GE coming in below $200bn. Samsung is a private company and I believe the world's largest private company is Koch Industries. Its owners, the Koch brothers, are reported to be worth about $40bn so Samsung would be considerably smaller than Apple. So I'm with you about Apple copying and with you about it being a giant versus a smaller, more innovative upstart. What I don't understand is your interpretation of the Australian case. You seem to think it was launched by Samsung.

          Trust me, I have not missed the point.

      3. Gobhicks


        Don't know if you're aware of the extent of patent shenanigans surrounding Electronic Program Guides for TVs...

    2. Tipjip


      1. Craigness


        Apparently they've got a microphone on the keyboard now too. Where did they get that one from?

    3. Peter 48


      I think you will find that Samsung hold about 12 times as many patents as Apple, so who is the innovator really?

  2. Weeble

    Cupertino only won by a nose ...

    ... but that is still a win, in this "winner takes all" battle. Christmas has gone up in smoke, so Samsung may as well pull out of Australia now.

    I wonder if Apple will be increasing its prices in AU$ ????

    1. Ross 7

      Indeed, I feel the judge missed a trick here. Personally given that there was so little in it, and it is in the consumers interest that this is dealt with pronto I would have held that *both* products were banned from sale until both parties sorted themselves out. I'd give it a week before they came to an agreement.

  3. auburnman

    If the final ruling is in 2012, then I presume the ban is iron-clad until then? Missing out on the Christmas period is gonna hurt Samsung bigtime (Obviously.) And pretty much guarantees they will go for apple all guns blazing in their countersuit.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...the lengthy decision by Justice Annabelle Bennett boils down to consideration of which party would be most harmed by a decision either way. Apple, the judge found, was marginally the winner on this ground."

    So if both companies would be damaged, but apple only slightly more, shouldn't *both* products have been suspended from sale? If it really a novel invention, there won't be anything else like it and suspending both products until the dispute is resolved seems fair.

    But really, touch-screen on a small phone is allowed but banned on a larger device? Are the heuristics that much different on a pad than a phone as to make it a non-obvious invention?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      So the consideration boils down to...

      ...Apple would not benefit from competition in the marketplace, so they shouldn't have to deal with it? Pfft.

      I should expect there's a queue around the block of monopolists who what to shake this judge's hand.

  5. Jiminy


    Well, apple have won now no matter what the courts eventually decide

    Just keep your opponents tied up in the court room till the product is obsolete

    1. Zy7ygy
      Thumb Down

      Or keep them tied up until they can release something original..?

      1. Craigness


        It it original. It's a tablet computer in the tablet computer market, just as there are cars in the car market. All the cars look and function similarly and are all as original as can be expected. The same happens in the market for tablets, cola, milk, houses and pretty much everything.

        If a house builder thought they couldn't compete against a competitor's superior product and would be hurt if that superior product was on the market then they could go to a judge and say "we put roofs on our houses, they do too, it affects our sales, please ban them". Maybe the judge would comply.

        What you and apple really want is for Samsung to be forced out of the tablet computer market, and for others to be scared off, so Apple can dictate terms to the consumers. With luck that won't happen.

  6. Silverburn

    Legal cop out

    Pah - read this a bit closer, and the Judge is totally washing her hands of this one.

    Her tiny nod to Apple is flimsy at best, and likely to be very overturned with ease.

    Losers: Us, ultimately

    Winners: Lawyers, always

  7. Anonymous Coward

    what seems to be forgotten...

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of patents and trade gloss, surely there is something wrong when a major component manufacturer to a successful company decides to go head-to-head against them with a product that so deeply derivative that even claims against the packaging have merit.

    Like I say, I'm no great lover of patents - as assets they are far to liquid and limitations should be imposed to prevent simple trolling, and the process of their granting and enforcement is so deeply flawed that they discourage at least as much real innovation as they protect. But there is a simple truth here. If Sony and HTC can make a distinctively different Android phone, why not Samsung?

    1. Craigness

      Distinctively different

      The packaging used by Apple is very common for consumer tech devices and was sometimes used by computer games makers way back before they started to sell them in DVD boxes - when you open the box you see the booklet on top and the cd would be fitted into a cardboard tray underneath. Apple does not own this design and should not be given it by the courts.

      Some of us can see the distinctive differences between products even if others cannot. If you want to wonder about why apple is targeting certain products and not others you need to look at the manufacturer's size and sales figures rather than the products themselves. For example, if you hold Xoom, Galaxy Tab and an ipad next to each other you'll notice a remarkable similarity between Xoom and Galaxy Tab which does not exist to such an extent between either of those and the ipad. And Xoom also uses the familiar packaging design that Apple and Samsung use. So, why Galaxy Tab and why not Xoom?

      Xoom unboxing:

      Galaxy Tab unboxing:

      ipad unboxing:

      There's not much room for difference in this packaging design. Whether or not to put pictures on the back is one, colour is another, and the number of holes for peripherals. Orientation is less obvious, but the writing on the back of the ipad's box shows it's in portait orientation whereas Xoom's and Galaxy Tab's boxes are both landscape. Of the three, only one has a piece of card between the tablet and the peripherals. When you see that in the ipad 3's packaging you'll know where it came from!

      If you accept that the main concept of the design is decades old, you look at what differences are possible and what differences there are, then you can see that the thinking behind the 3 packagings was likely to have been independent. If a lawyer shows you an ipad box and then asks you to count the similarities in a Galaxy Tab box you'll likely come to another conclusion.

      1. Craigness

        Here's another unboxing video which should give you itards a clue as to where apple's innovative and magical packaging design came from. Oh, and there's a clue as to Apple's real goal in these court cases written right there on the lid.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... goes the clock, Samsung slab was due to hit the markets - when, June? We're into mid-October. January 2011 is the next step of the legal battle. Surely not the last, we ain't even started yet, the liars will find a way or two (hundred) to come up with counter-suits to counter counter-suits. And with new slabs full of new gimmicks (pardon, breakthrough and revolutionary technologies) coming out every month, the outcome of the present spite will soon lose any relevance as the Samsung pad becomes simply obsolete (hurray for another firesale!). Was it all planned by Apple this way, as an innovative and not-yet-patented "particularly advantageous embodiment" of the method to fight off market competition?

  9. Thomas 18


    90% of TVs basically look the same, 100% of cigars all look the same, that's why brand images and company seals were invented in the first place.

    1. Ramazan

      TVs, cars etc.

      Were invented and mass-produced more than 25 years ago and nearly all patents related to general look and feel have long since expired

  10. Greg D

    Loosers = Consumers

    As usual.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      this verdict makes me feel a little tighter.

    2. Danny 14
      Thumb Up

      it depends

      Well it sort of depends if I buy the correct size.

  11. jubtastic1

    Well put

    Next time you're out buying food, compare the packaging of the supermarket's own brand copies of successful brands, notice how they remind you of the branding of their originals yet aren't straight copies. Thats because If Tesco did simply copy a box of cereal, replacing "Kellogs" with "Tesco" and dropped in a picture of a bowl of their own product that was similar enough to the original that few would notice, they'd get rightly sued for imitation.

    Regardless of whether you believe Apple's own products to be the work of Satan, Smartphones and Tablets were a niche before Apple got into the business, thanks to their efforts they've both gone mainstream and there's now a wide variety of products running on a range of OS's, Apple isn't suing RIM over its Playbook or HP over the TouchPad, they're fighting one Android tablet manufacturer that's chosen to imitate their own products design, packaging and look and feel to a ridiculous degree. Why this is unexpected I can't understand because if you had developed the iPad and had a major component supplier copy the thing right down to the box you'd be taking legal advice right?

    1. PatientOne


      Take the Tesco box of cereals and put some in a bowl. Take Kellogs cereals and put in bowl. Can you tell the difference?

      Take both boxes and spray them black. Take a random sample of other cereal boxes and paint them black. Can you tell the difference?

      The logo on the boxes is copyright. Imitating that will get you sued for copyright violation, not patent infringement. The contents are the product, and that is near identical for both.

      1. jubtastic1

        Unfortunately for you

        I have given a lot of thought to supermarket own brand products, which if I am honest, I rarely (never), find a willing audience for.

        Tesco Choco Snaps are Coco Pops copies, they taste almost as good as the real thing yet there's just enough of a difference that in blind taste tests (conducted upon offspring at the Jubtastic household), the test subjects noticed and voiced their disapproval.

        Tesco also sells a "value" coco pops copy, whose value is debatable because IMHO they bear more in common with cardboard than food, now when you think about it, coco pops are just puffed rice and some chocolate flavouring, yet the value range has clearly been gimped beyond reducing costs on the raw materials to ensure that the product compares poorly with Choco Snaps and of course, Coco Pops.

        This sugggests that Tesco actually employ someone to gimp value range products, which personally I find both perverse and yet fascinating.

        Back to your questions:


        Of course not.

        Actually, the logo on the box is Trademarked, reproducing it without permission is not a copyright violation, it's counterfeiting. Wiki Trade Dress for enlightenment:

        Good day Sir.

  12. andreas koch

    I just read the verdict

    So that was it then for the ozzies. This verdict more or less states that TRH Judge Bennett ruled that, all other things aside, the company who gained a market - - - keeps this market.

    Has competition just been declared unlawful?

    On the (disregarded by judge Bennett) techy side:

    I see now that Samsung is really on very thin ice here, because they DO actually use extremely similar (to the point of being almost identical) technology to Apple. But then, at the same time, Apple says that prima facie (which Samsung claimed) does not apply just because of microscopically minute differences in possible definitions of wordings in the cited patents, which might prove that Apple has been grated these patents wrongly because they're extremely similar (to the point of being almost identical).


    This is not a technology battle, this is a lawyers wet dream.

    I hope it doesn't spread.

    On the other hand: The Dutch NUNA6 team can now apply for a court ruling that disqualifies all other contestants in the race, especially the Japanese team, because they have won 4 of 5 races and it wouldn't be fair if someone else would win now. And the other cars all look very similar as well.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    should stop supplying chips, IP or anything else to Apple. See how they like that.

    1. Ivan Headache

      And who would be the loser?

      According to a couple of things I've read recently, Apple spends almost $8bn a year with Samsung.

      I'm sure there are other manufacturers who would jump at getting a slice of that.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        I'm sure there are other manufacturers.

        But are they tooled up to produce teh components that Samsung produces, and do they licence the patents that cover the production of those components, many of which Samsung owns?

        More likely, such a move by Samsung would be found by some court or other to be discriminatory against Apple. IANAL, but I would imagine that if you licence your patent to one person on particular terms, you have to offer it on the sme, or similar terms to others. The alternative is for Samsung to inspect the patents that it does own and look at cases where Apple is using IP contained in that patent and not licensing it. This I believe, it is already doing, and it is foolhardy of Apple to draw Samsung's ire in this way.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'd take a look at Samsungs wordwide sales - £8bn is a drop in the ocean.

      3. bobbles31

        I suppose that depends on whether or not Samsung use any patented manufacturing tech.

    2. phlashbios

      Short sighted.....

      @ AC who said "Samsung should stop supplying chips, IP or anything else to Apple. See how they like that"...

      Yes, of course they should do that and lose the billions of $ revenues from those sales to Apple. It's the obvious answer. Apple clearly wouldn't go elsewhere for those items.


    3. andreas koch

      They have to

      Dutch court has just ruled that Samsung HAS to license technology to Apple, because it's essential.


      What a f*ckup.

      1. cloudgazer


        No, not because it's essential - because Samsung took part in setting the standards such as UMTS which made them it essential - and as part of that made a commitment to license it under FRAND.

        Apple has never sought to embed its IP in industry wide standards and so it isn't so encumbered.

  14. George 24


    Toyota sues Hyundai because their car has four wheels, and looks like a Corolla. Apple you suck.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for...

    ...innocent until proven guilty. Now they can take viable product off the streets BEFORE any of the legal issues is addressed.

    Someone please do the same thing to Apple. Gawd knows they have taken enough innovations off others through the years and not paid for it. Let's see how their iPad sells on the end of a three year ban waiting on a trial date.

    As for the Fanboy commentards: That shackle around your ankle is going to rub, then chafe, then become damned irritating in time. Keep buying those closed garden apps m'boys. Celebrate your freedom praising the Great Leader as the Gulag guards add more barbed wire and machine gun posts to the perimeter.

  16. NoneSuch Silver badge

    I have a land line phone in my office. Rectangular design in black with 1-9, * and # on the buttons arranged in a 4 X 3 block with an LCD screen above. I have the same thing at home. Different manufacturer, laid out slightly differently, but exactly the same configuration. In traveling, I have found many manufacturers phones in hotels, airports and other businesses. The call quality and functionality is almost identical.

    Why are people not suing each other into the ground over these phones? They were patented under the old system where you had to have a viable piece of hardware to qualify for one. If you wanted to use someone else's patented kit in your design, you paid a small fee to license it (most of the time agreeing over a handshake) and got on with business.

    Then software patents were introduced, lawyers got involved and the whole system fell apart. Now concepts and designs are MINE and I am NOT sharing. Never mind they have been in use for ten years in other product before I patented them. Never mind that innovation is killed and costs rise dramatically. I am going to stamp my foot, scream then hold my breath like a three year old who wants a cookie.

    Oh and Apple never manufactured land line phones so that must count in the equation too somehow.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Touch screen patents.

    Once upon a time, some ingenious soul decided that it should be possible to tap a screen and have the device respond.

    Everything since then has been evolutionary development, not innovation.

  18. cloudgazer

    Biggest IP news in Apple Vs Sams

    Samsung got denied any chance of an injunction by a dutch judge, where the IP was under FRAND.

    'today the Rechtbank's-Gravenhage (a Dutch court based in the city of The Hague) made it clear that Samsung won't be able to win an injunction against Apple's products based on standards-essential, FRAND-committed patents. As a result, Samsung's motions for preliminary injunctions against the iPhone 4S in France and Italy are also very likely to be denied, though the courts in those countries have the right to take different decisions than their Dutch counterpart.'

    From Foss-patents.

  19. JaitcH

    If it's a software problem, like the one wide line ...

    Samsung should simply sell the device with a plain vanilla interface that when first switched on, after purchase, invites the user to upgrade to the latest, greatest thereby bypassing all this stupidity.

    Now Apple can wrk on the Amazon challenger!

    1. cloudgazer
      Thumb Down

      That is known as indirect infringement - Samsung would still be liable, they might even be more liable as Apple would have a strong case for wilful infringement at that point.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    An injunction for a fast changing tech scene, in a slow moving justice system is punishment in itself. So, hardly a fair ruling.

    Ahh, I don't actually care. Samsung isn't an impoverished startup. It can take a beating and survive.

    I'm only here for the drama. And for flinging poo when a good target presents itself.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022