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Apple has sued Samsung, looking to ban sales of Samsung's Galaxy tablet and smart phone family in the UK.  (Source: Samsung)

Apple's won a previous ruling when an elderly German judge ruled that Samsung's thin Galaxy Tab 10.1 violated Apple's hypothetical "fat iPad" Community Design from 2004.  (Source: Scribd)

After its loss to Microsoft's Windows in the 80s and 90s Apple is determined to use lawsuits to avoid facing a similar fate with Android.  (Source: Columbia University)

Apple wants to ban sales of all Samsung Android tablets and smart phones. Samsung is the world's top maker of Android smart phones and tablets.  (Source: Phoenix New Times)
Apple and Samsung are currently 1-for-1 in court rulings

Adding to its growing pile of lawsuits [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] against the popular Android operating system, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has filed suit in the U.K.'s High Court alleging South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO 005930) has copied its tablet and smartphone designs.

I. Victory by Any Means Necessary

If Apple had patented the design of the Apple II back in 1977 and the technology behind it and then sued its top rival manufacturers, it might have succeeded in killing the coming consumer PC revolution.  If that had happened, consumers might have been forced to use Apple computers in the 1990s and 2000s.  Instead Apple opted for a less litigious approach -- to try to compete with its "closed box" model.  Ultimately it lost, fading into a distant second place amid the deluge of machines powered by Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system.

Today a very similar story is playing out in the tablet and smartphone markets.  In three years Google Inc.'s open Android operating system leaped from a 1 percent smart phone operating system market share to nearly 50 percent of sales, outselling Apple phones 5-to-2 in the latest numbers.  And it's closing fast on Apple's tablet market share, leaping from approximately 3 percent a year ago to approximately 30 percent of tablet sales in 2011.  Android is winning by offering more selection and more customization options to users.

Apple recognizes this familiar state of affairs.  But this time it's determined not make the same mistake and try to outcompete its more open, more diverse rival.  It's taken to the courts to try to sue Android's top smartphone and tablet makers out of existence.  It's hoping to convince the court that it deserves a government-enforced monopoly on modern tablets and smartphones, thanks to its strong intellectual property catalog.

And amazingly it's scored a major victory in one of its first two court rulings.  A German federal court ruled that Samsung had infringed on a 2004 design patent which depicted a fat touch screen computer with only a power button.  The German court ruled the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is much thinner, has side buttons, and is a different aspect ratio infringes on the "minimalist" Apple Community Design.

Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann remarked upon delivering the verdict, "The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible. For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks."

However, the ruling essentially grants Apple a monopoly on all rectangular multi-touch based display tablets with one button or less on the face -- the current industry standard.  In that regard, Apple, pending appeal, was handed an effective monopoly on tablet sales in Germany, the European Union's third largest market.

II. Fight Continues to Expand With British Filing

In Britain, Samsung got the jump in the legal fight.  After Apple sued it in court in the Netherlands and Germany, Samsung sued Apple in Britain, claiming the iPhone and iPad infringe on its patents.  Now Apple has responded with yet another suit.

Both the suits are currently sealed and the patents involved have not been made clear.  Based on previous lawsuits it seems likely that Samsung's lawsuit revolves around Apple's use of wireless technology, which Samsung believes it owns the rights to.  Apple's suits are likely based on Apple's aforementioned "fat iPad" Community Design (somewhat akin to a patent) and on Apple's technology patents, such as its notorious multi-touch patent.

The new lawsuit brings the number of lawsuits between Apple and the top Android handset maker to 20.  The other lawsuits include:

4/15/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Case No. 5:11-cv-1846)
(North District of California)

4/21/2011: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Japan, Inc.
(Tokyo District 
Court, Japan – JP Pat. No. 4642898 - 2011 (Yo) No. 22027)

4/21/2011: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Japan, Inc.
(Tokyo District 
Court, Japan – JP Pat. No. 4299270 - 2011 (Yo) No. 22028)

4/21/2011: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Korea Ltd
(Seoul Central 
District Court, Korea - 2011 Kahap 39552)

4/21/2011: Samsung Electronics GmbH v. Apple, Inc. and Apple GmbH
(Mannheim Regional Court, Germany) (7 O 247/11)

6/17/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Japan Corp.
(Tokyo District Court, Japan – JP 
Pat. No. 4204977 - 2011 (Yo) No. 22048)

6/17/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Japan Corp.
(Tokyo District Court, Japan – JP 
Pat. No. 4743919 - 2011 (Yo) No. 22049)

6/17/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics GmbH
(Mannheim Regional Court, 
Germany) (7 O 166/11)

6/17/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
(Seoul Central District 
Court, Korea - No. 2011 Gahap 63647)

6/27/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
(Court of Justice, the 
Hague, Netherlands) (KG 11-730)

6/27/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
(Court of Justice, the 
Hague, Netherlands) (KG 11-731)

6/28/2011 In the Matter of Certain Mobile Electronic Devices
(ITC Case Samsung 
v. Apple 337-TA-794)

6/29/2011: Samsung Elec. Co. Ltd. et al. v. Apple Inc.
(District of Delaware, 11-cv-573-LPS)

6/29/2011: Samsung Electronics Italia s.p.a. v. la Apple Inc.
(Tribunale Di Milano, 

6/29/2011: Samsung Elec. Co. Ltd. v. Apple Retail UK et al.
(UK High Court of 
Justice Chancery Div. Patents Court HC 11 CO 2180)

7/5/2011: In the Matter of Certain Electronic Digital Media Devices and
Components Thereof
(ITC Case Apple v. Samsung 337-TA-796)

7/8/2011: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and Samsung Electronics France v. Apple
France et al.
(Tribunal De Grande Instance De Paris 11/10464)

7/28/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Ltd. Co.
(Federal Court of Australia, 
New South Wales District Registry, General Division) (NSD1243/2011)

8/4/2011: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics GmbH (Duesseldorf Regional Court)

Apple is also suing Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility Inc. and Taiwanese phonemaker HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) in numerous regions.  In Britain, there's a suit against HTC, in addition to the suit against Samsung.

III. Victory for Apple is Uncertain

While some think that the German decision gives Apple a major victory, there's no concept of "legal precedent" between separate EU legal jurisdictions.  In other words, the German decision has no official impact on the British case.

Further, Apple essentially lost its case in the Netherlands, where a judge ruled that Samsung did not violate Apple's "fat iPad" community design.  The court found Samsung only guilty of infringing on one minor patent on scrolling, which it remedied by altering Android's built in Android app.  Thus while Samsung tablet sales are banned in Germany, they are free to continue in the Netherlands.

Additionally, several U.S. graphics designers (with an eye for design detail) we spoke to in recent weeks expressed credulity that anyone would think Galaxy Tab was similar enough to "fat iPad" pictured in Apple's design patent to ban the Android device.  They said they found it unlikely that many international courts would side with the verdict of the German court's elderly judge.

And if Samsung can win some of its major countersuits -- such as the British or U.S. counterclaims, it could force Apple into a cross-licensing agreement clearing the way for it to freely sell its devices in currently-contested world markets.

In that regards Apple's hopes of tablet and smart phone hegemony via lawsuits may face failure either directly in its cases or in its rivals scoring victories in their countersuits.

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This may come as a shock
By Tony Swash on 9/14/2011 8:20:26 PM , Rating: -1
OK - make sure you are sitting down. Here goes.

Apple have stopped losing.

After Steve Jobs returned Apple stopped bothering about what other people were doing and decided to just go off and design some new shit, shit that simple exploded in the market place, shit like the iPod and iPhone and iPad, and Apple stopped worrying that apparently Microsoft had 'won". Oh and along the way they decided to gut Microsoft's OEMs profitability just for fun. And they did stuff like building the world's biggest digital distribution business and the world's most successful retail operation.

And, unlike the sad sorry 1990s Apple decided to stop being the unpaid R&D department of the whole industry, to stop letting people copy their stuff. Apple got serious about patents and IP and not in a 'let's milks some more money from everyone' Microsoft type way but in a 'we are not going to let you copy our stuff - ever' sort of way. And like everything else Apple has done in the last fifteen years or so this shit is real and they are deadly serious about it. They will not let go of this bone, they will fight this in every arena, everywhere. And there is a very good chance they will win. Or at least win enough to stop people copying most of their stuff.

So my advice to Samsung and the rest is stop fucking around and just try designing some stuff that doesn't copy or steal from Apple. Try being original - it can do no harm and who knows, you may actually turn out to be good at it. Astonishingly Microsoft seem to be taking that route, I think being left in the dust by Apple seems to have shaken them deeply.

And my advice to you guys who think that if people are stopped from copying Apple it means the end of civilisation as we know it - get over it. Apple intend to win. Don't let it get to you. Buying Apple kit is not obligatory. Yet

RE: This may come as a shock
By gwem557 on 9/14/2011 9:38:29 PM , Rating: 3
Ugh. Give me a minute to try to decode your poor use of English.

Ok, Firstly, go answer your door. It's Wal-mart knocking. They want to talk to you about your assertion that Apple even plays in the same ball park as they do, when it comes to 'most successful retail operations'...

Just a second, I need a moment to catch my breath...from laughing.

Whew. Okay. Now, Tony Swashtika, since you refused to take my earlier suggestions to either euthanize yourself, or get a vasectomy, to heart, AT LEAST put down the crack pipe?


RE: This may come as a shock
By Tony Swash on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: This may come as a shock
By psaus42 on 9/15/2011 10:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
(and they have the patents, the lawyers and the will to do a whole lot)

Um... what patents? Netherlands said "no". Germany wasn't won on patents, it was Community Design. Everything else is currently here-say until rulings are finally made (which can't come soon enough)
Apple has it's OS (iOS), but most everything else is someone else's technology. Samsung being a huge provider of such tech. "oh the sweet irony"!
Maybe the galaxy and Samsung won't become #1 after all of this... but Apple doesn't have the balls or the knowhow to take this all the way to mass market/monopoly. Apple will be relegated back to their niche corner soon enough. Though they're big at current stats, the trend is already happening for the iPhone, and as all historians will tell you "history repeats itself".
None the less, this whole apple/legal quagmire has been significantly more entertaining than anything Hollywood has put out in the last 10yrs.

RE: This may come as a shock
By DeluxeTea on 9/14/2011 11:07:57 PM , Rating: 3
Your post is implying that Apple is a hypocrite. We already have proof that Jobs is "shameless about stealing others ideas" yet they don't want anyone stealing from them.

Apple did not invent anything original in the past 15 years. MP3 players existed before the iPod. Tablets existed before the iPad. Smart phones have been around a long time too. The only thing Apple did was make it fashionable and hip to own these, especially smart phones and tablets. Those were seen as "serious businessmen gadgets" and therefore "uncool" before.

RE: This may come as a shock
By Onimuto on 9/15/2011 10:26:18 AM , Rating: 3
Problem with you Tony , taking your points , pirks, iphonedevguy is your heads so far up apples ass I am sad to say surgery wouldn't remedy the situation.
Apple has disgusted me and alot of others I know. People who don't even stay on top of tech are now bitching about apples suing.
To. Think I used to fight the MS fanboys for attacking apple. I did this becuase I give proper respect to companies for what they have brought to the consumer space.
You tout Steve jobs name but I never hear you once accredit steve woznaik.becuase even jobs long time friend from school woznaik was feed up with Steves bullshit could that be the reason? You know woznaik still receives a check from apple to this day and is listed as employee.
I fought against people attacking apple with the iPhone design of touch screen PDA device. I was about to buy a lg prada but when I heard the news of what apple was doing I watched their keynote and decided to wait and buy my $800 phone after tax. I prevously owned blackberry 8800, nokia n95, and to many to list.
But I am not a over zelous fan idot, when I see bullshit I call it out. The idea of touchscreen captured the market much needed company's entered the market to do battle. The free market spoke. And the free market decided. What apple is doing is no diffrent then what standard oil, bell labs have done with trying to control the free market. He'll the government helped bell labs (AT&T) become a monopoly in the past then seen the harm and forced them apart to protect consumers from lack of innovation.
You spout this crap of copy this copy that. There are only so many ways to make certain devices. Touch screen phones tablets prime example flat thin/fat. What about a LCD tv? Thin longer with then hieght. What about a motor vehical knowtist how dodge , crysler , GM trucks hAve all the same general shape with diffrent headlights grills and hoods. Destop computers there's only certain way to make an atx or b atx case. Notebooks formaly called laptops only limited wats to make the device. I could go on forever from water bottles to chip bags.
You don't see ford suing for assemble lines. And ford like apple who did invent automobiles but Made them popular, you don't see ford suing everyone. The list can go on.
You say to stop bitching about apple copying the market I sorry to said other companies coping. Get your head out your ass all which is in os x was stolen from open source development of dolphin which I think Steve job deliberately released dolphin into the wild for this reason.
And the whole buying apple shut is not obligatory yet. It never will be no matter how much you want it to be.
Jesus people like you just make me want to shatter this fuckin iPhone 4 I am typing this post with. O yea the only monopoly that still works are items that actually are needed such ass Oil, energy , water , gas why because these items are needed for quality of life. And you should sit Down for a second your self. Becuase microsoft also falls under this category since almost all government and corporate servers run it. Corp rate and small buss use it dam near the entire consumer base uses it. This is not because it was forced upon us it's because the freemarkets spoke and decided.
I have never hated apple before. But this lawsuit has finally drove me away. I for one will never buy a apple product again nor will suggest it to the countless amounts of people I told "get and iPhone 4 since windows and androids market apps are still in their infancy and the app store is better" never will hear that again mainly becuase live market place and androids app catalog is sufficient now. When I do replace my iPhone 4 somewhere in 2012 it will not be with another apple product.
Maybe I'll make a YouTube video of the destruction of this iPhone and MacBook pro in my possession. So you can mourn the lost of plastic , metal and silicon. You fools are just as fanatical as playstation fanboys.
Good day Tony now go back to whacking away to Steves picture.

RE: This may come as a shock
By Tony Swash on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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