Samsung has postponed its application to ban Australian sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S after the Federal Court set dates for a final hearing of the case in March next year.
The South Korean manufacturer sought to have the iPhone 4S taken off the market after Apple successfully imposed a temporary ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.
Apple claimed that the Galaxy Tab infringed on two patents relating to touch screen manufacturing techniques and how the device corrected a user’s finger gestures.
In response, Samsung claimed that the iPhone 4S infringed on three of its wireless patents and sought copies of Apple’s contracts with telcos as evidence that telcos had been obliged to offer the iPhone at a more heavily subsidised rate.
Samsung’s lead counsel Neil Young told the Court today that it would postpone its iPhone 4S application until an “early final hearing on all questions of liability in March, or at the latest, April 2012”.
Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett set a three-week final hearing for March 2012.
She rejected Apple’s argument that it would not be ready to present its case about the validity of Samsung’s iPhone 4S claims until August 2012.
“By August of next year, the 4S may be superceded for all I know,” Bennett said. “By August, [Samsung] may have to recast their entire case.
“It’s moving technology ... If they are right, the delay is going to affect their ability to expand what they say is an emerging platform, which is the Android platform [used by the Galaxy Tab].”
Young said that the case should be heard urgently, noting that Apple released the iPhone 3GS in June 2009, the iPhone 4 in July 2010 and the iPhone 4S last month.
Samsung had originally sought to have the final hearings in 2012, although it later proposed hearings of limited scope in November this year, negotiations for which fell through last month.
To date, Apple and Samsung have presented a total of 55 affidavits by computer scientists, intellectual property experts and company executives to the Australian Federal Court.
The parties will reconvene in the Federal Court on Friday to set a date for the final hearings in March.
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