Samsung draws blank on iPad sales

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Samsung draws blank on iPad sales

Lawyers argue Galaxy sales would not eat into iPad dominance.

The Federal Court has denied Samsung's demands that Apple detail how many iPad tablets it had sold in the United States and Britain over the past year.

Samsung Australia's counsel Neil Murray argued in an interlocutory hearing Tuesday that knowing the sales figures would be vital in determining whether the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would impact iPad sales in Australia.

The Tab 10.1 launch in Australia had been delayed twice since court proceedings began in late July. The device would not be seen here until at least 30 September.

Samsung had sought monthly sales figures for iPad and iPad 2 tablets sold over the past year in the US, Britain, Japan and Germany. It had since dropped requests for Japan and Germany.

The data, Samsung argued, would be used to graph a trajectory of how sales of the two iPad versions had progressed before and after the launch of the Samsung tablet in the two countries.

Samsung's tablet had been launched in the United States and Britain in June and August respectively

Apple's legal counsel Cameron Moore argued the data held little relevance to the case and that monthly figures would be difficult to produce since Apple reported sales quarterly.

"The difficulty with this inquiry is ultimately it's not going to assist your Honour," Moore said.

"This product - the Galaxy product - is something that has only been on the market for a short while.

"In order for your Honour to draw anything at all from iPad sales figures, your Honour would have to know what would the trajectory has been [for the iPad]. Your Honour is not going to be able to draw anything at all from a precise number."

Samsung argued the data would show that lifting the injunction on the Tab 10.1 in Australia would allow the two companies to offer their respective devices with little impact on one another.

While he conceded there would likely be some overlap between consumers wanting an iPad and those looking to buy a Galaxy Tab 10.1, he argued the case was largely one of those consumers who wanted to purchase a device with Apple's iOS operating system and those who wanted a tablet installed with Google's Android operating system, including the Galaxy and similar tablets.

"The market is bifurcated in an important way because of the operating system," Murray said.

However, Justice Annabelle Bennett ordered the controversial paragraph "be set aside".

"This is going to open a whole can of worms," she said.

"The logic is very simple to me at this stage - as a matter of logic one has to assume there might be at least one person who was going to buy a Samsung product rather than an Apple product; that barrier has been crossed."

Interlocutory hearings would continue later this week, ahead of full court proceedings in which Samsung had indicated it would file a cross-claim against Apple.

New patents introduced

Apple bolstered the claims it will bring against Samsung when the full court proceedings begin later this month, adding three new patent claims for a total 13 patents.

Samsung already attempted to change the Australian version of its tablet to avoid potential infringement of patents owned by Apple in Australia.

It had pledged not to launch the US version of the tablet, used by Apple in the first instance to launch the injunction in the Federal Court.

Apple did not appear to have removed any of patents filed in the initial statement of claim to the court, despite lead barrister Stephen Burley telling a hearing in August that an amended statement of claim to be lodged would rely on fewer patents.

Apple's new claims were based on the proposed Australian version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, provided by Samsung to Apple's lawyers as per an initial injunction order from the court.

A full list of claims and patents was restricted and unavailable to view.

Of the three new patents included in the amended application, one - "scaling documents on a touch-screen display" was only awarded to the iPad maker on August 11 this year.

The patent covered how a touch screen automatically sized or responded to user-based magnification of a document on a tablet or smartphone screen, normally too large to view in full at once.

The patents (new additions in bold)

2008201540 : List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display
2005246219 : Multipoint touchscreen
2007283771 : Portable electronic device for photo management
2009200366 : List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch screen display
2007286532 : Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics
2008258177 : Selective rejection of touch contacts in an edge region of a touch surface
2009208103 : Scaling documents on a touch-screen display (awarded August 2011)

2008100283 : List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display
2008100372 : Electronic device for photo management
2009100820 : Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
2008100419 : Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
2008100011 : Positioning a slider icon on a portable multifunction device
2008101171 : Portable electronic device for imaged-based browsing of contacts

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