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Apple claims that Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets (right) violate its patented design and technology found in its iPad (iPad 2, shown right).  (Source: Daily Mobile)

Apple also accuses Samsung's Galaxy S smart phone of ripping off its iPhone.  (Source: Sizzle Core)
Company says Samsung worked "slavishly" to duplicate its designs and infringe upon its IP

Details have been released about a suit Apple, Inc. (AAPL) filed against fellow gadget maker Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930) in South Korea's Seoul Central District Court.  The suit was filed on Wednesday, June 22 and claims that the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S copies the design of the iPhone 3G.

The lawsuit comes after comments by company officials who accused the gadget maker of "slavishly" imitating the iPhone.

Samsung will definitely have the home court advantage in the case.  It is one of South Korea's largest conglomerates, accounting for about a fifth of the nation's exports.  Samsung Electronics, one of the Group's many subsidiaries, is the world's largest electronics company by sales.  It's expected to soon pass Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) to become the world's largest phonemaker.

The suit follows an April 15 complaint filed in U.S. federal court against Samsung.  The complaint alleges that the Galaxy family of devices that include the Galaxy S smartphone models and Galaxy Tab tablet models violate a number of Apple patents.  

Among them, Apple says the devices infringe on its touch screen user gestures patents, including selecting, scrolling, pinching and zooming. It also claims to have invented a "flat black face", which is among the three design patents Samsung is accused of violating.

Samsung had petitioned the court to force Apple to turn over prototypes of its future iPads and iPhones to show differences or similarities between the two companies designs.  Samsung lost that motion on June 22 (Wednesday).

Samsung has filed four counter-suits against Apple in Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Japan, Mannheim, Germany and the U.S., claiming Apple violate ten of its patents.  

Ironically the pair were formerly quite close.  In fact Samsung Electronics has designed Apple's last several iPhone/iPad processors, with the help of contractors like Intrinsity.  Samsung was also among the companies that was rumored to be a possible partner for Apple's potential upcoming LCD television display launch.  Apple also uses Samsung memory chips in several of its devices.

The pairs' relationship, much like that of Apple and Google Inc. (GOOG), deteriorated as both companies accelerated their smartphone and tablet plans.  Currently Samsung is beating Apple in phone sales, though some of its phones are traditional handsets.  Overall Google's Android OS hardware partners -- like Samsung -- are outselling the iPhone over two-to-one, according to recent studies.

As it can't outsell Android, Apple appears resigned to try to out-sue the rival.  The company's efforts were dealt a setback when a judge in another case -- a suit against, Inc. (AMZN) over its "Appstore for Android" -- said that she was preparing to dismiss a major motion in that case.

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Before you accuse, think about it...
By Commodus on 6/24/2011 1:00:53 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, a few of the claims (Galaxy Tab look and feel) are a bit of a stretch. The lawsuits are as much about trying to quash an Android competitor as they are about what Apple says.

However, there is absolutely, positively no question that Samsung's mission with the Galaxy S and S II was to copy Apple. The international version (like that seen in the photo) has an iPhone-like home button that you basically don't see on other Android phones. The icons are almost literal clones of Apple's, changed just enough to be slightly different.

Even in the US, Verizon reps (there are multiple instances of this) told people looking for the iPhone (before 2011) that they should get a Samsung Fascinate because it looks "just like the iPhone."

The Galaxy S line is pretty competent, but that doesn't mean it wasn't designed to capitalize on someone else's success.

RE: Before you accuse, think about it...
By Solandri on 6/24/2011 2:06:06 PM , Rating: 3
The icons are almost literal clones of Apple's, changed just enough to be slightly different.

I covered this when the lawsuit was first filed. I have a Galaxy S phone. I had never used nor taken a close look at the iPhone's icons up to that point. You claim Samsung's icons are "almost literal clones" of Apple's, yet I could only correctly name two iPhone icons - the phone and clock, which were universal symbols long before the iPhone.

By Commodus on 6/24/2011 4:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's in design choices that Samsung clearly didn't have to make that are eerily similar to the iPhone's. TIMN had a great side-by-side comparison (though the messaging icon is Google's, not Samsung's):

There are universal symbols for icons, but in many cases, Samsung didn't have to follow Apple's interpretation of those symbols so closely. Not to mention that TouchWiz on the Galaxy S line was, let's face it, designed to mimic the iPhone (four static bottom icons, similar side-swipe app grids, and the like).

By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
except you had to pull up the apps list screen to get to that grid of icons whereas the grid is on Apple's home screen. Also I've had plenty of phones before the iPhone 1 came out that had a grid of icons that were similar albeit with a more colorful background.

By fteoath64 on 6/25/2011 5:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
"no question that Samsung's mission with the Galaxy S and S II was to copy Apple".
True, but when they are doing it legally, then no one can touch them. It is a legal case after all and will be resolved by legal means, not hear-say, not by feeling, not by opinion etc.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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