Samsung has agreed to suspend sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia until its patents lawsuit with Apple in the country is resolved. Bloomberg reports that Apple’s lawyers sought an Australian injunction preventing Samsung from selling the device in the country – and hinted that it may attempt similar action in other markets too. But according to an agreement forged between the two sides in Sydney yesterday, Apple will need to pay Samsung damages if Apple’s complaints prove unfounded. The Australian injunction is necessary because Samsung has had “announcements of an imminent launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 device on-going since 20 July,” said Apple lawyer Steven Burley. Apple is basing yesterday’s claim on a US version of the Galaxy tablet, which is different from the one that will be sold in Australia, countered Samsung’s lawyer Neil Murray.
Apple alleges that Samsung’s tablet infringes ten patents used in Apple’s iPad, including – unusually for a patents case – some that cover the “look and feel” of the device. Launching its action in the US last April, Apple accused Samsung of choosing to “slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design.” Samsung, which supplies memory chips for Apple, retaliated with lawsuits of its own in South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US. The agreement to halt advertising and sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t affect any other Samsung tablet or smartphone available in Australia, or other countries, Samsung said in a statement. The Australian court will hear the case again on 29 August.