Apple has expanded its intellectual-property lawsuit against Samsung, using new patents and targeting products such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expanding its lawsuit against
Samsung, now targeting the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet as yet another product it
says violates its intellectual property rights.
"The original complaint already accused Samsung of
-slavishly copying' Apple's designs," Florian Mueller, a self-described intellectual
property activist, wrote in a June 17 breakdown on his Foss
blog. "The amended one stresses that Samsung -has been even bolder'
than other competitors emulating Apple's products."
In addition to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the expanded complaint
targets a multitude of other Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S II. Muller
detailed how Apple added three utility patents to the list of allegedly violated
intellectual property, including two hardware patents focusing on
touch-sensitive panels and a software patent for graphical user interfaces. The
company also added five new design patents, and four trade dress applications,
to that list.
"In the very near term, Apple will have to decide on whether
to request a preliminary injunction," he wrote. "That's reasonably likely. If
the court appeared to give serious consideration to this measure, it could put
enormous pressure on Samsung and greatly increase the likelihood of a near-term
settlement in Apple's favor."
The Apple-Samsung battle is not your typical
intellectual-property battle. Even as Apple's iPhone and iPad compete fiercely
with the devices in Samsung's portfolio, Apple remains a major purchaser of
components from Samsung, which is only too happy to cash the checks.
Samsung originally filed patent-infringement lawsuits
against Apple in South Korea, Japan and Germany April 21. "Samsung is
responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect
our intellectual property," read an April 22 statement posted on the Samsung
Website, "and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile
Samsung was responding to Apple's filing with the U.S. District
Court of Northern California, a 38-page suit that claimed Samsung's smartphones
and tablets closely copied the iPhone and iPad in look, packaging and user
"Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a
unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and consumer tablets, Samsung
chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these
infringing products," Apple wrote in the suit.
Apple also has patent-infringement suits lodged against HTC
and Motorola. But the Samsung lawsuit-and-countersuit is a little different,
when you consider that Apple was responsible for roughly $6 billion, or 4
percent, of Samsung's 2010 revenue.
"I expect the relationship to continue," Apple COO Tim Cook
said during his company's April 20 earnings call, soon after news of the suit
hit the Web. "We felt the mobile division of Samsung had crossed the line ...
after trying for some time to work the issue, we decided to rely on the
Apple recently settled a high-profile intellectual property
dispute with Nokia. Under the terms of that agreement, Apple will pay Nokia a
one-time fee in addition to royalties; neither company disclosed the amounts of
money at issue.
"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number
of Nokia licensees," Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Nokia, wrote in a June
14 statement. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry-leading patent
portfolio and enables users to focus on further licensing opportunities in the
Nokia and Apple had spent months trading brutally worded
lawsuits, even taking complains to the U.S. International Trade Commission. But
Apple's probably hoping for a much more advantageous result with its Samsung