Apple and Samsung clashed in a second day of hearings in an Australian court Thursday (via Dow Jones Newswires). At issue are three patents that Apple holds and claims Samsung infringed upon with the design of its Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Apple’s lawyers revealed during the proceedings that Steve Jobs attempted personally to avoid a legal battle between the two companies, and Samsung made a concession that could lead to hardware design compromises in the Australian market.
Apple executive Richard Lutton (who was reported to be leaving Apple earlier this year) provided evidence that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached Samsung during summer 2010 in an attempt to avoid conflict between the two companies, which maintain a significant supply-side relationship. Lately, that relationship has seemed to be in jeopardy, which is what Jobs apparently intended to avoid. Once Jobs reached out, other Apple staff took over in conducting meetings between the two companies.
It’s unclear what kind of concessions Apple was looking for from Samsung, but clearly the discussions didn’t resolve anything. Apple sued Samsung in California this past April, and also has filed complaints in Australia, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
Another significant development at the hearing saw Samsung’s lawyers concede regarding one of the patents at issue, which covers technology for selective rejection. The touch screen tech prevents sensors from acknowledging accidental touches. Samsung’s lawyer called the patent “trivial,” and said the company “can live without it.”
Samsung has also pushed out an update for its phones in the Netherlands which changes the photo gallery interface, in order to avoid infringing on one of Apple’s patents. If Samsung has to keep making concessions like that, and now dropping accidental touch recognition from Australian Galaxy Tabs, user experience could ultimately suffer, rendering products less appealing to consumers should Apple not be able to secure an injunction.
The judge presiding over the Australian hearing, Justice Annabelle Bennett, adjourned the case to Friday, and told the parties she’ll likely decide next week whether or not to enact a temporary injunction on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, pending the resolution of the patent dispute between the two. Earlier this week, Justice Bennett advised both parties to seek a speedy trial in order to avoid a lengthy potential injunction period for Samsung.