Samsung Electronics Gives Apple Proposal to End Australia Patent Dispute

Samsung Electronics Co. made a proposal to Apple Inc. to resolve their patent dispute in Australia regarding touch-screen technology, a Sydney court was told today.

Samsung lawyer David Catterns didn’t give details about the proposal, and Apple will need time to consider it, Apple lawyer Steven Burley told the court.

Catterns’s proposal is a bid to end the last dispute over patent technology in Australia that’s seen Samsung hold off selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the country. Apple’s claim that Samsung violated patents for its iPhone and iPad in Australia is part of a wider patent battle between the two companies that has come up in courts on four continents.

Samsung agreed earlier to hold off selling the Galaxy 10.1 in Australia as Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett rules on Apple’s request for an injunction barring the sale of the Samsung tablets until a court rules on its patent infringement claim.

The two sides failed to conclude their arguments today as scheduled, and the hearing is set to resume on Oct. 4, after a public holiday in New South Wales. Bennett, who said yesterday she aimed to deliver a ruling next week, told the lawyers she couldn’t give a time-frame for a decision on the injunction.

“I can’t promise when I’ll make a decision,” Bennett said. “I will try to get it out as soon as possible.”

Samsung agreed this week to withdraw two features from the Galaxy 10.1 which allegedly infringed Apple’s patents. That reduced their dispute in Australia to the one patent over touch- screen display technology.

Bennett pressed both sides to consider a trial over the patent claim as early as the last week of October. Apple had already agreed to an early trial.

The case is: Apple Inc. (AAPL) 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 editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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