Apple rejects Samsung's settlement offer in Australia, seeks to 'maintain the status quo'

"Thanks, but no thanks." That's essentially what Apple told Samsung today, in rejecting an offer to end their ongoing patent dispute in Australia. Samsung's proposed settlement, presented on Friday, would've allowed the manufacturer to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 within Australia as early as this week, despite Apple's contention that the tablet infringes upon a handful of its patents. The agreement would've also resulted in a speedy court decision, but today, Cupertino told an Australian court that the proposal was simply unacceptable. "It is one we don't accept and there is no surprise," Apple attorney Steven Burley told reporters. "The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch and maintain the status quo." Samsung's lawyers, meanwhile, acknowledged that the rejection now lessens the chances for any settlement at all, arguing that a truce "is not going to be achievable... given the positions advanced by each party," and that the litigation may extend well into 2012. One of the Samsung's attorneys, Neil Young, added that his client isn't in a rush to conclude the dispute, speculating that it may take until March to prepare its defense. "If we can't get a decision out by mid-October, there is no urgency," Young explained. Neither Samsung nor Apple have offered official comment on today's developments, but we'll keep you abreast of the latest.