Australian court to hear Samsung Apple dispute in March

Image caption Apple and Samsung have both accused each other of patent infringements

An Australian court has set a March date to consider Samsung's claim that Apple infringed its 3G patents.

Samsung is seeking to ban sales of the iPhone 4S in the country although the court has ruled that the handset can continue to be sold until that time.

Apple's lawyers had wanted the hearing to be held in August but the judge rejected the idea.

The news comes as Apple admits that there are still flaws in iOS 5, which powers the new iPhone.

Patent row

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle in 10 countries over patents for smartphones and tablet computers.

The case in Australia centres around the South Korean company's claim that Apple infringes its 3G wireless intellectual property.

Samsung said other "major" firms had sought to license its technologies, but that Apple never tried.

Apple's lawyers said they needed more time to prepare their case. They are expected to claim that Samsung demanded unreasonable terms.

Justice Annabelle Bennett said it was not an option to wait until August.

"The longer it's left the harder it will be for Samsung," she said.

She also noted that Apple had pushed for a faster timeline in another dispute.

The US firm has claimed Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet infringed its touchscreen and gesture patents. Last month the Federal Court granted Apple an injunction blocking the sale of the computer.

Remaining issues

The patent issue is not the only headache for Apple as criticisms continue to be made about its new mobile operating system iOS 5.

Customers initially complained that after installing the operating system, battery life was severely limited. Apple admitted that there were 'bugs' and issued a software update.

But the complaints continued even after users had installed the new software. Some said their battery performance had become even worse.

Apple issued a statement over the weekend.

"The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices. We continue to investigate a few remaining issues," the firm said.

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