Australia Judge Asks Apple for iPad Sales Numbers

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Apple said in its Australian patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung that putting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on store shelves would hurt iPad sales, but the Judge overseeing the case wants the Cupertino company to back up those claims with iPad sales figures from the U.S. and U.K.

Apple v Samsung, down underJudge wants to see Apple’s iPad numbers

According to Judge Annabelle Bennett, “Unless Apple puts on evidence showing the impact in the U.S. or U.K., I can’t draw any positive assumptions.”

Bloomberg reports that the Judge is requesting the sales figures from Apple, not demanding them. The same Judge denied Samsung’s request to see iPad sales numbers.

Apple is seeking an injunction in Australia to block Samsung from releasing its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet over claims the company copied the look and feel of the iPad.

Samsung has agreed to hold off until the end of September before releasing its tablet in the country so the judge has time to review the injunction arguments. Samsung has already been blocked from selling its tablet in Germany and several other European Union countries, and Apple is hoping to get an injunction in the U.S., too.

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7 Comments Leave Your Own

AlanInMadrid

“...would hurt iPad sales”

I don’t see how this is relevant.  Either the Samsung is a copy of a unique design from Apple, and therefore infringes, or it is not, in which case it does not (either because it is not enough of a copy, or the iPad design itself is not unique enough).

I am sure that sales of Toyota cars hurts the sales of Fords, but that is not grounds for any action by Ford.

RonMacGuy

So even if it is proven that the Samsung Galaxy Tab “copied the look and feel of the iPad” but it is also determined that the Samsung Galaxy Tab sucks and no one wants it, then the judge may allow it to be sold in Australia anyway because “it really doesn’t hurt Apple in any way.”

Interesting judicial system down under!!

Dean Lewis

I think the answer will affect the damages awarded if infringement is found. However, I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Nemo

I won’t pretend to know Australian law, IP or otherwise.  So I am only providing an educated guess.  It may be that under Australian law the Judge must do a balancing test of, inter alia, the harms that Apple and Samsung will suffer depending on whether the court grants a preliminary injunction.  If the Judge finds that the impact on Apple’s sales of its iPad aren’t commercially significant, she may conclude that a preliminary injunction is not warranted and that, therefore, Apple’s can wait for her final decision on dispositive motion or at trial.

Apple may have to chose whether a preliminary injunction is worth releasing its strategic sales data for the iPad.  Perhaps the Judge will allow Apple to reveal the sales data only to her, under seal, and in camera, with Samsung prohibited from seeing Apple’s sales data for the iPad. 

However, if the Judge decides that a preliminary injunction isn’t warranted because Samsung isn’t selling enough Tabs to impact sales of the iPad, it will be a brief respite for Samsung but a thoroughly humiliating one.

barryotoole

@Nemo: “However, if the Judge decides that a preliminary injunction isn?t warranted because Samsung isn?t selling enough Tabs to impact sales of the iPad, it will be a brief respite for Samsung but a thoroughly humiliating one.”

IOW, regardless of the ruling once/if Apple releases their sales numbers, it will be a humiliation to Samsung.

Terrin

Correct. Apple has to prove damages.

I think the
answer will affect the damages awarded if infringement is found. However, I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Nemo

Dear Terrin:  I don’t know the law of Australia, but an injunction is equitable relief, and normally damages are not a predicate for obtaining equitable relief.  To invoke a court’s equitable jurisdiction, a party, in most common law countries, of which Australia is one, need only show that damages are not an adequate remedy and that there is a claim in equity that supports the relief petitioned for.

Now, I don’t know Australian law, so perhaps Apple does need to show damages to obtain and injunction, rather than simply showing that damages are not an adequate remedy.  I don’t know.

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