On Tuesday, the ongoing saga of Apple vs. Samsung began an even more serious chapter as Samsung halted Australian imports of the Galaxy and the ITC agreed to take Apple’s “cease and desist” request to the next level.

Apple believes that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 device too closely resembles Apple’s iPad 2 (and/ or possibly iPad 3), and Apple’s Australian division initially demanded to be allowed to destroy all of the (as yet unreleased) devices.

Meanwhile, the United States-based ITC (International Trade Commission) has agreed to more fully investigate Apple’ claims against Samsung. Because the ITC has already ruled in favor of Apple on a similar case against HTC, this could potentially result in the loss of the US market for Samsung’s tablets and smartphones alike.

While many news sources say that Samsung responded by halting their Australian tablet plans, the South Korea-based company is claiming that this is a non-issue. As a Samsung spokesperson told Ausdroid: “Apple Inc. filed a complaint with the Federal Court of Australia involving a Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 variant that Samsung Electronics had no plans of selling in Australia. No injunction was issued by the court and the parties in the case reached a mutual agreement which stipulates that the variant in question will not be sold in Australia.”

Apple is not restricting its ire to the Galaxy Tab 10.1; the Cupertino-based company claims that a number of Samsung’s products violate Apple’s intellectual property (e. g., Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone versus Apple’s iPhone). ''It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,'' an Apple Australia spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. ''This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.''

The next stage in Australia comes on August 29th, when a judge will review the case to see if there is a need to set a date for trial, while there is no official word on when the ITC will give a judgement or update on the US side of the matter.


James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. StephenHicks is the CEO of Southridge which is a diversified financial holding company.