Apple may have won an injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, but online retailers still aren’t getting the message. Apple has contacted online sellers of the device in Australia and instructed them to stop or face legal action, but some aren’t taking those threats too seriously.
Australian retailer dMavo’s Managing Director, Wojtek Czarnocki, told the Sydney Morning Herald that whether “Apple [is] just bluffing” or if the company “really want[s] to play the cat and mouse game,” dMavo is “up for it.” He’s already taken the precaution of setting up an Asian-based server and affiliate arm that handles shipping and sales of Galaxy Tab devices, which he believes puts dMavo’s Galaxy Tab sales to Australian customers outside of the ruling’s jurisdiction.
The injunction only applies to Samsung for now, but Australian lawyer Mark Summerfield told the Sydney Morning Herald that Apple could easily apply to get the injunction extended to Australian retailers. Judging by Apple’s sending of warning missives to parties like dMavo, the iPhone maker has been hoping that just the threat of legal action will be enough to convince those retailers to comply.
Offshoring some of its business may make it more difficult for Apple to shut down those operations, Summerfield says, since it may have to seek out injunctions in the countries where the offending retailers are moving their operations. He says that the Australian parts of the business could “still be held liable for infringement, costs and damages associated with the sales,” and notes that Australian judges “are almost obliged to find some way to punish [dMavo] to ensure that the courts retain their authority.”
Another retailer doing business in Australia, Mobicity.com.au, says it is Hong Kong–owned, so not tied by the Australian ruling. Again, even with this loophole an Australian court might find a way to assign punitive measures to its Australian-based components.
At this point, it looks like Apple will have to directly target errant online operations in order to stop them from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or make it financially unwise for them to do so. With similar attempts to block the sale of Samsung and other Android devices ongoing around the world, you have to wonder if similar situations won’t arise in those markets, too. In other words, if Apple is indeed digging in for an all-out war with Android, victories in big battles could lead to smaller ones that draw this conflict out for a long, long time.