Friday marked the final day this week for a hearing in Australia over touch-screen patents held by Apple and allegedly infringed upon by Samsung. Justice Annabelle Bennett heard arguments from both sides regarding an injunction Apple is seeking on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, and Samsung apparently took a very conciliatory approach to ending the injunction before it begins.
During Friday’s proceedings, Samsung revealed (via Bloomberg) that it has approached Apple with a proposal to end the dispute between the two companies regarding touch-screen patents. Apple lawyer Steven Burley informed the court that his employer would need time to review and consider the offer. During proceedings Thursday, Samsung told the court it would withdraw its use of accidental touch detection tech from the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and it has also withdrawn another feature related to Apple’s zoom technology. Only one touch-screen patent remains in contention at this stage.
Samsung has voluntarily agreed not to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until a formal decision is reached about this proposed injunction, and Thursday, Justice Bennett told both parties she hoped to reach a decision by next week. Both sides may have to wait a little longer, however, as the judge said on Friday she couldn’t guarantee a decision date, but would “try to get it out as soon as possible.” Bennett reiterated that the parties should push for an early trial beginning in October, something Apple had already agreed to.
This hearing was originally scheduled for two days but has already gone three this week and will continue on Oct. 4, since neither side has yet concluded their arguments. We heard Thursday that Steve Jobs personally tried to intervene to prevent legal trouble between the two companies, but now it looks like it’s Samsung making the effort to avoid more trouble at this point. Given that they’re willingly making major compromises regarding a product that’s already shipping in other markets around the world, and that they seem less enthusiastic about an expedited trial than Apple, it does seem as if they know their position is weak in this case.