Apple has rejected a settlement offer by Samsung in their legal battle over tablet PC patents in Australia.

At the beginning of last month, Apple approached Australian courts in a bid to obtain an injunction that would prevent Samsung from selling its tablets PC, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, in the country.

Apple claimed the tablet PC infringes 13 patents relating to the iPad, three of which relate to the touchscreen technology including one which covers "selective rejection" technology ensuring accidental touches to the iPad don't result in programs being launched.

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"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," Apple said at the time.

As a result, the tech giant started an international legal battle against Samsung, filing more than 20 lawsuits in various countries across the globe, in a bid to prevent the sales of Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones and tablet PCs.

Samsung voluntarily agreed to postpone the Australian launch of the device until the case had been heard and a decision made. Samsung approached Apple with a settlement, in a bid to speed up a verdict in the case, which is being heard this week.

However, Apple has rejected the offer.

According to Reuters, Apple lawyer Steven Burley, told the court: "It is one we don't accept and there is no surprise. The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch and maintain the status quo," said.

Samsung was seeking a verdict in the case as soon as possible in a bid to ensure it could sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in time for Christmas. Lawyer Neil Young, who is representing Samsung, said if a quick decision is not made, the case could stretch as far as March, while the company prepares it full legal defence.

"If we can't get a decision out by mid-October, there is no urgency," said Young, who added that if this were the case, the market in Australia for the device would be "commercially dead".

Samsung has already agreed to remove two features from the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which means the legal action now revolves around just one patent that covers gestures used on the touchscreen.