Apple fires back in patent war with Samsung

Category: WTO Sub-category: Intellectual Property
Document type: news

08-Jul-2011 | 12:14 IST | Edited by: Vishal Bagaria

Apple took its legal fight with Samsung a step further, by appealing to the US International Trade Commission (USITC) to contain imports of some of the South Korean firm's smartphones and tablet computers.

Apple asked the USITC to examine its complaint that Samsung is violating on the California-based company's patents in "electronic digital media devices" including its Galaxy lines of smartphones and tablets.

According to a spokesperson from Apple, Samsung has slavishly followed each of Apple's revolutionizing gadgets with imitation products that incorporate Apple's technology and distinctive design. Apple contended that Samsung was unfairly using its patented technology in gadgets such as touchpads, software and audio interfaces.

Galaxy Tab vs. iPadSamsung has been labelled as one of the principal violators of Apple intellectual property. Apple patents at issue ranged from headphone technology to ornamental design features. Apple asked the federal agency to stop offending Samsung devices from being imported into the United States for sale.

In early July 2011, Samsung had asked the US ITC to stop the import of Apple products into the United States, escalating a patent war with the US mobile gadgets king. An appeal had been made to The ITC to stop Apple shipping its popular iPods, iPhones and iPads into the US market from where they are manufactured. Accordingly, Apple is breaching patents related to wireless communications standards and mobile device user interface.

The complaint urges relief in the form of a long-term exclusion order preventing entry to the United States of all Apple products in violation of these patents and Samsung continues to actively defend its intellectual property.

The tussle began when Apple filed suit against Samsung in April in San Francisco, accusing the Korean firm of copying its smartphones and tablet computers. Samsung retorted later that month with a lawsuit in Seoul alleging five patent infringements by Apple. It filed separate actions in Tokyo, citing two patent infringements, and in the German city of Mannheim citing three. In June 2011, Apple lodged a second lawsuit against Samsung with a district court in Seoul, asking for a sales ban on Samsung's latest products. It accused them of copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung's Galaxy Tab has been a huge-selling rival to the iPad, which has dominated the growing market for the touchscreen devices.

Notwithstanding their tough competition in gadgets, the two firms have a close business relationship. Apple was Samsung's second-largest client in 2010 after Japan's Sony, accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm's 155 trillion won ($142 billion) annual revenue.

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Samsung i7500 - The Samsung i7500, known as Samsung Galaxy in some countries, is the first mobile phone manufactured by Samsung that uses the open source Android operating system.