Apple’s win in Australia could shut down Android competition for good

October 13, 2011
12

Google has steadily argues that Apple's patent fight with Samsung isn't about intellectual property, it's about shutting down the competition. Apple's injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was upheld in Australia today, and if other courts see this as precedent, that very well could happen. The patents in question are so far-reaching that, in Australia at least, the ruling could prevent any other Android tablets from being sold.

The conclusion comes from FOSS Patents is that the patents are “broad enough in scope that Google and its OEM partners can’t work around them without rendering their products less appealing, or even entirely unappealing, to consumers.” What's even more disturbing is the idea that courts in Germany, the United States and elsewhere could take the Australian ruling as the go-ahead for similar cases in other countries, effectively shutting down Android tablets wherever Apple chooses to fight them.

It's not all bad news. In the Netherlands Samsung has maneuvered around Apple's last patent when it comes to the Galaxy S II, allowing them to sell the phone freely in the territory. But the Aussie patents cover "multipoint touchscreens" and "graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics", methods that if successfully blocked make modern tablets almost impossible. Similar patents are under dispute in the American patent case, with none other than Steve Jobs listed as the inventor. In the United States Google, Verizon and T-Mobile have supported both Samsung and HTC in their defense against Apple, but the friend of the court filings may be too little, too late.

The opinions in the FOSS piece are just that, opinions. But it's not outside the realm of possibility that Apple intends to keep its lead in the tablet market by hammering its competitors with the court systems. After all, they're losing the market share battle to Android in the smartphone world already - why would they let it happen again for the iPad? Time will tell if the legal technique is a success, but suffice it to say, if you're thinking about buying a Galaxy Tab 10.1, you might want to do it sooner rather than later.

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[via SlashGear]


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  • Anonymous

    Another reason I will never buy an apple product.

  • http://profiles.google.com/peacock73 Anthony Peacock

    Steve Jobs was an innovator alright. No one has done more for useless patent law than that man and his company. 

  • Anonymous

    Why do you all insist on repeating crap from this idiot. If anything some of the stuff in question may stop tablets all together. But in his world its only Android thats in trouble. He’s the same one that spread the FUD about the Oracle/Google case only to have it blow up in his face within hours. He’s basically a troll still trying to play the smear game when it simply doesn’t work.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the revenge of Steve Jobs – even when dead.

    Apple’s just getting even with Google for quietly stealing Apple ideas while Eric Schmidt was on the board.  Android was a Blackberry and Windows mobile clone till Schmidt started seeing Apple prototypes and changed Google’s products.  Multitouch devices with a real internet browser in a phone didn’t exist before Apple.  Never have I ever heard in modern corporate history where one company’s CEO sits on another company’s board and steal designs and compete with them.

    There is a reason why MSFT took till end of 2010 to get a competitive OS out and why Google could do it so much faster and that is because of Schmidt and his spying starting in 2006.

    Microsoft deserves some credit for trying to be different and not outright IP swiping.  Has anyone seen the Galaxy Tab packaging?  It’s identical to the iPad.  Recall how Samsung blatantly ripped off the Motorola Razr and got sued for that too.  “Slavish copyists” is not too far a description for what Samsung is doing and added to Google treachery is what made Apple go after them.

    Like I said, credit for MSFT or Palm for trying to do things differently.  It’s not often that I credit MSFT for anything but they deserve applause for their OS which is genuinely good and different than iOS.

    Having said that, patent laws suck and I wish that software patents were abolished, regardless of how much I despise Samsung and Google’s “Do-no-evil” backstabbing.

    • http://profiles.google.com/peacock73 Anthony Peacock

      Wait so let me get this right? You are picking on the packaging of the freaking device now?

    • http://profiles.google.com/tonycerdais Tony Cerda

      You said real internet browsing didn’t exist before apple. My Nokia e90 Communicator cell phone was capable of real full desk top web browsing. I purchased my Nokia e90 in 2005. Keep in mind that the iphone wasn’t even out yet for another 2 1/2 years. The next year I purchased a Nokia N95 and that had full web browsing capabilities. In fact, BOTH of those Nokia phones had front facing cameras. iPhone was not yet announced for another year and a half, and the front facing camera, which most people also think Apple invented, didn’t come out on the iphone until last year. Apple didn’t have anything that wasn’t already out. They just market their stuff as if they invented it.

  • Anonymous

    I have no fear that if the courts in the USA did put an injunction against all Android tablets we eventually would get them back. They’re called monopoly lawsuits. If the iPad owned 99% marketshare after they blocked the sale of competing tablets you’d get a backlash of anti-competitive lawsuits. Apple needs to license for a reasonable price this patent to competitors, I think that’s what the courts would rule.

  • Greg Arnold

    Apple did not invent the touch screen, multi-touch or even the rectangle.  Touch screens were invented in the 70’s and multitouch was invented in 1982 buy a guy not associated with Apple.  Heck, Apple did not even invent the GUI.  This judge in Australia just sounds like an Apple tool.  

    There is no doubt that Steve Jobs and Apple brought the touch screen and multi touch to the masses, but that does not then give them the right to by judicial fiat exclude all others from putting out competitive products into the market.  Furthermore, if Apple is able to sue others into non existence, Apple’s innovations will cease.  They will have no one to push their need to innovate.  

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7UY7MZRS4FVOCIGFJSHZI5MJGQ Dumbo

    Asian companies = innovate and improve

    American companies = litigate and conquer

  • DR OCTEATOGUS BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

    i like apple but ever sense Steve Jobbs  passed away the new generations of the iphone ipad and itouch probably aren’t gonna be as good as the old ones by the way my name is bob and i like cheese like a fluffeh kitteh

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