Apple May Have to Show IPad Sales to Successfully Bar Samsung in Australia

Apple Inc. (AAPL) may have to reveal iPad and iPad 2 sales figures in the U.K. and U.S. to improve its chances of barring Samsung Electronics Co. from selling the Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer in Australia, a judge said.

Apple’s claim that the Samsung tablet’s release in Australia will hurt iPad sales may carry little weight if it doesn’t provide the numbers, Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett said in Sydney Federal Court today.

“Unless Apple puts on evidence showing the impact in the U.S. or U.K., I can’t draw any positive assumptions,” Bennett said.

Bennett said she would not force Apple to release the sales numbers and denied Samsung’s request for them. Apple aims to to block Samsung sales of the Galaxy 10.1 in Australia, claiming the tablet computer infringes its patents.

Apple is seeking an injunction on Samsung sales in Australia until the patent suit is resolved. Samsung wanted the sales figures to show that the U.K. and U.S. release of the Galaxy 10.1, which runs Google Inc.’s Android operating system, had little effect on iPad sales.

The Australia dispute is part of a battle spanning three continents between Samsung and Apple, which claims the Galaxy devices copied its iPhone and iPad. A hearing on Apple’s request for the injunction is scheduled for later this month in Sydney Federal Court.

Not Impacting Sales

“People want an Android product, so they will buy an Android product,” Neil Murray, Samsung’s lawyer, told the judge. “This is not impacting the sales of Apple.”

The “remarkable similarity of the Samsung product” in terms of “functionality and appearance” makes it obvious that the Galaxy will take sales away from Apple, said Steven Burley, the Cupertino, California-based company’s lawyer.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung had agreed to defer the launch of the Galaxy 10.1 to the end of September to let Apple’s request for the injunction be heard.

In the U.S., Samsung is arguing that Apple stole the design for its iPad from the Stanley Kubrick 1969 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The case is: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. NSD1243/2011. Federal Court of Australia (Sydney).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net; Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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