Reports that Samsung is suing the Australian Commissioner of Patents in its patent fight with Apple have been denied by the company, with the Korean company stating that the Commissioner instead “has been joined” in the case in accordance with Australian law.
Yesterday, the BBC reported that Samsung had focused on the Australian Commissioner in an attempt to invalidate four patents which Apple alleges have been infringed upon by the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.
However, Samsung issued a press release that said it is “inaccurate to state that Samsung has ‘sued’ the Australian Commissioner of Patents.”
Because of a procedural requirement of Australian law, the Commissioner has been joined in Samsung’s invalidity case against Apple in the Australian Federal Court proceedings. Samsung is not making any allegations of wrong-doing against the Commissioner and it is most unlikely that the Commissioner will take any active role in the proceedings. It is therefore inaccurate to state that Samsung has “sued” the Australian Commissioner of Patents.
Samsung is simply complying with Australian procedural requirements so it can make all possible invalidity arguments against Apple’s dubious patents. Samsung’s invalidity case against Apple is not new and has been in progress since Apple first commenced proceedings against Samsung in Australia last year. Samsung’s claim against Apple always has been that Apple’s patents should be revoked, and the new procedural aspect of the claim does not change that in any way.
As Samsung states, the lawsuit itself is quite a few months old and was filed in August 2011. The company continues to call Apple’s patents “dubious” and is continuing to pursue its claim that the patents should be revoked — something the involvement of the Australian Commissioner of Patents doesn’t change that.
The patents in question include slide-to-unlock, photo management, scaling and rotation features found on the iPhone and iPad.
Samsung has fought bans of its tablet in the country, seeing its launch delayed and then missing out on crucial Christmas sales of the tablet. Both companies are engaged in more than 30 lawsuits worldwide, with Apple accusing Samsung of “slavishly copying” its products.
[Image Credit: Flickr – Mac Morrison]