The Apple Vs. Samsung Case In Australia Is So Big It Needs Two Judges


Apple and Samsung have been exchanging blows with each other in the Australian courtroom for the past two years. Neither side has emerged as a clear favorite to win, but the case is already breaking records.

Because of the enormity of the case, Australia’s Federal Court has appointed two judges to hear the case together. It’s the first time Australia’s Federal Court has ever needed to have two judges hear a case together.

The Australian court system usually relies on one judge to hear a case, and then if there is a disagreement on ruling and reasons, panels of an odd number of judges will sort out the rest.

Justice Annabelle Bennett, who has heard the case since it began in 2011, was joined on Monday for the first time by Justice David Yates. The two judge’s task will be sift through the complex pile of patents and filings to determine who infringed whom.

In AFR’s report, Watermark senior associate lawyer, Mark Summerfield, said the case is unprecedented in its length and complexity.

“It’s got to be far and away the most complicated [case] that’s ever been heard before the Federal Court. Nobody who’s ever litigated in this country has ever had deep enough pockets to just try to drive each other into the ground.”

Apple is suing Samsung for infringing on 19 of its patents, on a total of 120 grounds, that include nine smartphones and two tablets. Samsung claims that Apple infringed on several of its wireless patents.

Samsung and Apple have been litigating against each other for a number of years now, with both companies scoring wins. The most high profile case was won by Apple in the U.S., where a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion.