SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday it would delay the launch of its latest Galaxy tablet computer in Australia until after a court ruling in September in its ongoing global patent dispute with Apple.
Samsung and Apple have been locked in acrimonious battle over smartphones and tablets patents since April as Apple seeks to rein in the growth of Google's Android phones by taking directly aim at the biggest Android vendor, Samsung.
The sales delay in Australia is the latest setback for Samsung after Apple won an injunction in a Dutch court last week to ban sales of three of Samsung's smartphone models in some European countries.
A Germany court also said last week that Apple's injunction request to stop sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country will remain in place until September 9 when it delivers its ruling.
Samsung said on Monday it has agreed to delay the launch of Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia pending the court's decision in the week of September 26 and said it will lodge the cross claim through the Australian court in the coming days.
"Today, Samsung informed the Federal Court of Australia it intends to file a cross claim against Apple Australia and Apple Inc regarding the invalidity of the patents previously asserted by Apple and also a cross claim against Apple regarding violation of patents held by Samsung by selling its iPhones and iPads," Samsung said in a statement.
Samsung first delayed the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this month following an agreement with Apple at an earlier court hearing.
Apple, which has conquered the high end of the phone market with its iPhone, has argued that Samsung had infringed on its patents and the Galaxy line of products "slavishly" copied its design, look and feel. It is fighting legal battles in the United States as well as Europe, South Korea and Australia.
Samsung has counter-sued, arguing Apple infringed its wireless patents.
The launch of the new Galaxy tablet is crucial for Samsung, a distant No.2 player in the global tablet market, to close the gap with Apple and achieve its target of raising tablet sales by more than five folds this year.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim)