Blog Post

Judge says sales figures key to Apple’s case against Samsung

If Apple (s aapl) wants to bar Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet sales in Australia, it might have to produce numbers that show such an action is necessary, said Sydney Federal Court judge Annabelle Bennett on Monday. The judge wouldn’t force Apple to put its sales numbers on the table, as Samsung has requested, but she did suggest that Apple’s claim will be made weaker without the information.

Bennett’s exact words, according to Bloomberg, were that “[u]nless Apple puts on evidence showing the impact in the U.S. or U.K., I can’t draw any positive assumptions.” There’s little that is ambiguous about that statement, and it puts Apple in a bit of an awkward position. Samsung is looking for the full disclosure of sales info, and Apple has been trying to prevent the South Korean company from dragging that info out.

That’s because, if numbers remain in line with those we’ve seen publicly released from Apple during its quarterly earnings reports, iPads are likely still selling as fast as Apple can make them. Such strong sales in the U.S. and U.K. would seem to contradict the accusation that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have a negative impact on Apple’s iPad sales in markets where both tablets are available.

Apple argues that the “remarkable similarity of the Samsung product” will mean that it automatically takes sales away from Apple, even if the numbers don’t necessarily make that obvious. Apple has a point, too: Just because the company is currently having a hard time keeping the iPad on shelves doesn’t mean for certain that every potential iPad customer is ending up with an Apple tablet. Faced with a very similar alternatives, consumers shopping for iPads might opt for the Samsung alternative if stock isn’t available or a sales person pushes the Tab.

The Australian court will hold a hearing later this month to decide on the preliminary injunction, which, if granted, will apply until the patent suit between the two companies is resolved. Samsung has so far agreed to delay the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia pending a formal decision from the court on the injunction requested by Apple. Its good faith cooperation, along with the judge’s position with regards to the release of sales data might help the Korean company achieve a favorable result.

8 Responses to “Judge says sales figures key to Apple’s case against Samsung”

  1. Ada Mills

    The Kodak company does not belong to Hilary Clinton’s family. George Eastman was murdered and the man running the company is not a relative of his. The man they claim is the true owner of the Kodak company is a fraud. He hasn’t any legal rights to that company and I should know. I am a legal relative of George Eastman and have been having my civil rights abused ever since the Clinton election. I do not know why This Mr. Johnson has been protected of identity theft, since Bill Clinton’s election. Also Olan Mills is a fraud and is related to this Mr. Johnson claiming he has legal rights to the property. He claims he has had many different countries involved in liking him and that is also false. I am tired of hearing of the court system even giving this man the time of day, with his false accusations of who he is and what he thinks he is entitled to do with the courts.

  2. Thomas Shea

    This is why I hate Apple and won;t buy their products. The only way they can legitimately hold on to a fad is by patent trolling to eliminate competition. Pathetic really.

    • Now look back in all the years of hate and all the years of you not buying Apple. Has it affected the company? Guess I never understood those who make such claim, Apple has grown to be the most valuable company in the world with 70 billion in the back since you’ve decided not buy there products. And if it’s a fad market they’re holding onto then it shouldn’t matter if they sue or not, Samsung’s fad devices will die out soon also. They’re all fads Right?

  3. ViewRoyal

    The point of the litigation is that Samsung stole (infringed) Apple’s IP when it copied the patented hardware and interface design of the iPad and iPhone.

    It would be ludicrous if a thief stole property from you, and then in court the judge asked you to prove how this theft affected you financially, so that he could determine the guilt of the thief.

    In addition, it’s almost impossible to accurately prove the exact loss of sales that would be incurred if a product, that is currently in limbo, went on sale.

    There is also the reduction of Apple’s corporate identity and product uniqueness, when others steal its patented designs for their own products. This has immense value, but again would be almost impossible to determine the extent of the damage accurately.

    There is absolutely no doubt that Samsung has infringed Apple’s patents by copying the design and functions of its products. This should be the focus of the judge’s concern.

    This image shows what Samsung’s tablets and mobile phones looked like (hardware and user interface) before the iPhone and the iPad were introduced by Apple, and what they looked like afterwards:

    The judge’s immediate decision should be to permanently forbid the sale of Samsung products that infringe Apple’s IP, and recommend that Samsung redesign their competing products so that they do not violate Apple’s IP in any way. This should be done before progressing to determining the damages and compensation owing to Apple.

    • Surely the bigger question is whether Apple should even have been allowed to patent a rectangle?
      TV’s all follow the same shape because that form factor has become the optimum shape for the viewer across multiple brands. So why should 1 company be allowed to say that only they can use a rectangle for a pad?

      Secondly, there is a long history of rectangles in use in the world of IT (heck, even in movies, didn’t Samsung show a shape that looked suspiciously like an iPad in 2001? Well suspicious if it had come after the iPad but wait it did not.

      Then there are laptops, tablets, PDA’s and all sorts who have all followed a similar form factor because in this instance form follows function. Apple should not have been allowed to patent a shape, it is almost as illogical as their claim to the word ‘Appstore’ or to Amazon claiming ownership of an online shopping cart.

      I agree that their shapes are similar but if that is the optimum shape for a table to be, then why not have it that way?

      As for copying functions, I think you will find that Apple has copied a huge variety of functions from all over the place and fair play to them, some they have improved, some they have dumbed down. In addition they are being sued for patent infringement by Kodak and others and blatantly ignore patents they think they can until forced to pay out.

      In addition they are not trying to improve competition, enhance a consumers life and their patents that have been infringed in no way do this.
      I think that what the judge in Australia is saying is correct, show me some damage, prove to me that there is material harm and we can talk about your ludicrous patents. I only wish that EU judges had the same ability to stand up to a bullying behemoth.

    • Those pictures of samsung products before the iphone and ipad launched was ages rofl. How can you even compare it to the present 2011 where product design has been changed to suit the demand of the consumers, which is obviously bigger screens and thinner form factor.

  4. eldernorm

    Judge makes mistake. Suit is not for “lost money” but rather for identical look which COULD hurt sales ….. and confuse people about which pad is which.

    Just a thought,