We may be about to see a fairly big turnaround for the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuits, at least in Australia. During Samsung's appeals hearing, one of the judges presiding questioned the fairness of the ruling that previously granted Apple's request for a ban on the Samsung tablet. One of the Federal Court Judges had this to say, “The result looks terribly fair to Apple and not terribly fair to Samsung." Another of the judges said the following while referring to Apple, "If you have a fast moving product which if taken off the market, destroys the opportunities available to the newcomer and preserves the monopoly of the incumbent then you’d have to have a very close look at the strength of the case.” Still another statement was made by one of the judges that looked favorably toward Samsung, “We’re talking about a period of three months and all of Apple will come tumbling down? That’s 'very speculative'."
These comments all came after and during Samsung's two hour appeals presentation challenging the ban. During the presentation, Samsung's lawyer, Neil Young, accused the original judge that issued the injunction, Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett, of “fundamental errors." He elaborated that Bennett,Samsung's lawyers also said,...failed to consider the “dire consequences” of the ban on Samsung, which has been “entirely shut out” from marketing the device. He continued that the ruling was “grossly unjust” and argued that Justice Bennett “misunderstood and misapplied the basic requirements” around deciding whether Apple’s patents were in fact valid.Here's a final quote from the Businessweek article that sums up Samsung's argument,“We contend that the primary judge made a series of fundamental errors in her disposition of the interlocutory application. “They were all errors of principle.” The end result, the argument went, was that Samsung was unfairly penalized at “a critical time at the development of [the tablet] market.”Of course, Apple didn't agree with any of this, and believed that judge Bennett's ruling had been the result of “a careful and detailed review.”Bennett failed to evaluate Apple’s chances of winning its patent-infringement claims at trial as she was required to under Australian law, Young told the panel earlier today. Had Bennett done so, she would have concluded Apple had a weak case and turned down the request for an injunction, he said.
Ironically, it almost seems that the ban ended up being a non-issue, both in Australia and in Germany. In Australia, retailers skirted the ban by unofficially importing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to meet the high customer demand. While in Germany, Samsung brought to market a mildly redesigned version that gets around Apple’s patents. Still, it's good to see balanced and fair justice starting to prevail, as the precedents in this case could have ramifications for future patent lawsuits.
Source: AndroidTablets.net via SlashGear and Businessweek