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Apple stops Kogan from selling Samsung tablets

Will cease and desist selling Galaxy in Oz
Tue Sep 27 2011, 13:37

AUSTRALIAN HARDWARE SELLER Kogan must stop flogging Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its home country after Apple threatened to sue it.

Apple's pursuit of Samsung and its hardware is well documented and has clocked up a lot of airmiles. Recently the pair have had legal battles in the US, Germany, Korea, the US and, of course, Australia. In this latest win the fruit themed firm has forced a company that offers its own competing product to stop selling a competitor's product. Something that presumably says a lot about free trade.

According to Kogan's CEO Ruslan Kogan, he agreed to stop selling the device after Apple threatened to sue him. Kogan was wise to heed the threat, as in Apple's case you can normally take that as a promise.

"All we are trying to do is to provide the latest technology at the best prices. Pointless litigation is not our specialty," Mr Kogan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Although Kogan sells Ipads at lower prices than other retailers by buying them in China, Apple Australia's law firm, Freehills was not moved by this. Instead, in a letter it said that Kogan was infringing Apple's Ipad patents and engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct by selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Apple has demanded that the company stop selling and advertising the 10.1in tablet and tell it who it bought them from. Kogan complied with the first demand, but not the latter one, according to the report.

That is not to say that it has taken the demands gently, however, and the firm suggested that Apple was using its muscle to stifle competition, something that might prick up some ears with the relevant regulators.

"There is a fine line between legitimately enforcing your intellectual property on the one hand, and just trying to stifle competition on the other - in our view Apple is very precariously walking that line," said David Shafer, Kogan's executive director, in a statement released to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Although the firm thinks it is within its legal rights to offer the tablets to consumers, as it acts as something of a middle man and makes the purchaser the importer, it seems unwilling to get too deep into talks with Apple's lawyers and for now it is taking a softly softly approach to dealing with them.

"If you decide to pursue the injunction, we will leave these matters to the court and we believe that our case is strong," wrote Shafer in a letter to Apple's Australian lawyers. µ


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