Samsung has agreed to make a number of changes to its Galaxy Tab 10.1 to keep the devices from getting banned for sale in Australia before the holiday shopping season. During hearings in Sydney, lawyers for the company agreed to remove two multitouch features patented by Apple in order to get the device on the market as soon as possible. On Friday, Samsung also offered Apple a proposed settlement agreement, which would let Samsung sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as soon as next week. Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in as many as 23 lawsuits globally after Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" its designs for the iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab tablets. Apple has been been requesting preliminary injunctions in a number of markets where it has filed claims against Samsung, including the US, the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia. So far, Apple has been awarded preliminary injunctions against the Galaxy Tab in Germany and against some Galaxy S smartphones in The Netherlands. The hearings this week in Australia concern Apple's request for a preliminary injunction there, which could be decided as early as next week. Throughout the proceedings, the numerous claims Apple brought were essentially reduced to three patent infringement issues, including two for certain multitouch-related features and one that relates to how multitouch-capable touchscreens are manufactured. Samsung agreed on Thursday to remove features that use certain heuristics to filter out "accidental" touch input as well as the "zoom bounce" effect that the iPhone uses when zooming past the minimum or maximum zoom level. On Friday, Samsung told the court that it also made proposed settlement offer to Apple. The settlement, if Apple agrees to forgo its request for a preliminary injunction, would allow Samsung to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as early as next week. The details haven't been made public, but it could at least bring a temporary truce while Apple presses for a full hearing by the end of the year. Apple's attorneys said of the proposed agreement that "[o]ur friend's inconvenience would be minimised and we would be comforted." The hearing will continue again on Tuesday, and the judge has encouraged Apple and Samsung to settle the issue before her final decision is entered tentatively by the end of next week. Read the comments on this post
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