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Samsung has sued the Australian patent commissioner to seek judicial review of four patents granted to Apple in the country. It alleges that Cupertino's innovations patents, the legal equivalent of calling shotgun on new tech, weren't withdrawn by the commission when the full ones were awarded. If the Korean company is successful, the four patents will be declared invalid since they were improperly granted -- keeping them out of the barrage of litigation that surrounds the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A directions hearing is scheduled for June 25th, where Judge Annabelle Bennett will decide if Apple will lose out due to the error.

[Thanks, James]

Update: Samsung has responded with the following press statement to clarify the situation.

It is inaccurate to state that Samsung has "sued" the Australian Commissioner of Patents

Because of a procedural requirement of Australian law, the Commissioner has been joined in Samsung's invalidity case against Apple in the Australian Federal Court proceedings. Samsung is not making any allegations of wrong-doing against the Commissioner and it is most unlikely that the Commissioner will take any active role in the proceedings. It is therefore inaccurate to state that Samsung has "sued" the Australian Commissioner of Patents.

Samsung is simply complying with Australian procedural requirements so it can make all possible invalidity arguments against Apple's dubious patents. Samsung's invalidity case against Apple is not new and has been in progress since Apple first commenced proceedings against Samsung in Australia last year. Samsung's claim against Apple always has been that Apple's patents should be revoked, and the new procedural aspect of the claim does not change that in any way.

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Samsung sues Australian patent office to force judicial review of Apple patents (Update: Samsung clarifies)