In the Australian suit, Apple is claiming Samsung's tablet infringes on a patent for touchscreen technology. The dispute over two other patents for "selective rejection," which helps the device ignore accidental contact with the touchscreen, have already been settled with Samsung agreeing to drop the feature.
Based on an account of the proceedings from The Wall Street Journal, Samsung's proposed settlement would allow them to release the tablets before a final hearing on the matter.
This should make it possible for them to begin selling the tablet in Australia well before Christmas, perhaps as early as next week.
Details of Samsung's offer, which was presented privately to Apple representatives, weren't discussed in court, it seems likely they are proposing a preliminary licensing agreement.
Samsung has made it clear they have no objection to licensing patents for their devices. They consider it a standard cost of doing business.
This offer may be part of an overall strategy of painting Apple's position as being about competition and not patents. Apple's demands in their many lawsuits against Samsung have asked for Samsung products to be taken off the market rather than asking for damages or demanding license agreements.
The previous day, Samsung's attorneys argued are being singled out despite the fact there are already other products on the market with similar features, which presumably also infringe on Apple patents. Apple objected to the relevance of the claims, but was overruled by the judge.
If Apple won't negotiate a deal, it could help Samsung not just in Australia, but also in other cases around the world. Apple has so far been successful in painting Samsung as the aggressor unfairly copying Apple technology for unfair competitive gain.
A refusal to consider the kind of patent licensing deal which is common in the tech world could make Apple look like a would-be monopolist rather than a victim.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 30 Sep 2011 12:45