Samsung tried to get a look at the full versions of Apple’s wireless carrier contracts with Australian service providers as part of an ongoing court case in that country earlier this week. The presiding judge in the case, however, told Samsung’s lawyers on Friday (via ZDNet Australia) that Apple need not go that far.
The Australian Federal Court is attempting to determine if Samsung’s request for an injunction against the iPhone 4S down under is valid. Apple was ordered by the court to comply with Samsung’s formal notice to produce by noon Friday, leading to Friday’s disclosure of information (though not confidential contract details) from Apple, which limited itself to specific info requested by Samsung. Samsung wanted to see contract information to help determine the effect the 4S was having on its own device sales.
Apple had characterized the request from Samsung as a “fishing expedition” in court on Thursday, but it still complied with the spirit of the request by telling the court that the specific clauses Samsung was looking to confirm in the contracts in fact didn’t exist. Justice Annabelle Bennett told Samsung that Apple’s assurance satisfies the request by Samsung, and she instructed the Korean company’s lawyer to drop the matter.
It’s possible that document overload factored into Bennett’s decision. She’s seen seven boxes of evidence submitted so far in preparation for a hearing set to officially begin next week, which she said makes getting through the evidence “not physically possible” in time to provide a decision in the near future.
Samsung is seeking a ban on the iPhone 4S as part of the ongoing patent battle between it and Apple in that country, and in many others around the world. Apple has won a few early victories down under, including a temporary ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which it is trying to enforce by going after Australian online retailers.