Samsung Australia: Thanks, Apple, For The Galaxy Tab Publicity

Would anyone in Australia have noticed the Samsung Galaxy Tab had it not been the target of a heated lawsuit from Apple? (NSDQ: AAPL) Samsung Australia isn’t so sure.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Tyler McGee of Samsung’s mobile division admits that Apple’s allegations that the Galaxy Tab was a rip-off of the iPad–which resulted in a temporary injunction that has since been lifted–actually served to make people more aware of the Galaxy Tab.

“At the end of the day the media awareness certainly made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a household name compared to probably what it would’ve been based on the investment that we would’ve put into it from a marketing perspective,” McGee said. He goes on to get a little ahead of himself, predicting that demand for a tablet that hasn’t sold very well at all around the world is running short of supply, but he’s probably right on his main point: the epic battle between the two companies was a fascinating story for the mobile and business press in both Australia and around the world.

And that gets back to an issue we raised earlier this year: does new Apple CEO Tim Cook really have the same emotional investment in bringing Android to its knees via the patent lawsuit that the late Steve Jobs expressed in his biography? With outright bans of Samsung’s technology looking less and less likely in major markets and Apple playing defense against Motorola (NYSE: MMI) in some areas, it doesn’t seem to make as much sense for Cook to continue a scorched-earth battle against companies that when left to sell their products on the merits aren’t really making any progress.

Perhaps 2012 will be the year Apple adopts Microsoft’s strategy of exerting licensing royalties instead of fighting pitched courtroom battles.