Apple rejects Samsung Australian offer

Apple has rejected an apparent offer to settle a patent dispute with Samsung in Australia, which means that the country will continue to bar sales of Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Reuters reports that Apple told a court in Sydney today that Samsung's offer did not provide an basis for any settlement deal. It also asked the judge to rule on whether or not the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed on Apple's patents. In a statement, Apple's lawyer Steven Burley said, "The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch (of the Galaxy tablet) and maintain the status quo."

Samsung first offered its deal with Apple late last week, saying it would remove two features from the tablet that Apple claims it holds the patent. Samsung had hoped that Apple might accept the deal so that it could begin selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 this week in Australia. Now that Apple has rejected the deal, Samsung has now said it will likely miss the opportunity to sell the tablet in time for the busy holiday shopping season. If that happens, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would be "commercially dead" in Australia, according to Samsung.

Apple has been claiming for months that devices like the Galaxy Tab have violated Apple's patents in terms of Samsung's user interfaces and design for some of its smartphones and tablets.  In August, Apple convinced a judge in Australia to ban the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in that country as part of its legal fight. Reuters' story claims that a ruling here in the US between Apple and Samsung is expected to be announced next week.

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