Print 80 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Jun 25 at 6:45 AM

Apple requested a ban on all of Samsung's Android smartphone lineup in U.S. federal court

In the U.S. and worldwide only one smartphone manufacturer is offering Apple, Inc. (AAPL) a true challenge in market share.  In fact, that company is actually beating Apple in unit sales, although trailing far behind it in profit.  That company is Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).

I. Gotta Ban 'em All

If Samsung was gone Apple might have what it's dreamed of ever since it first launched its iPhone -- a monopoly market share in this lucrative market.  Apple's hopes to achieve that goal rest on its plea to the U.S. government to ban Samsung's entire smartphone lineup, the Galaxy phones.

The Galaxy S III is set to launch June 21 on all four of America's top carriers, priced at $199 USD.  But Apple is intent on disrupting this summer blockbuster, aiming for a speedy ban.

The Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung says Apple's claims are anticompetitive junk litigation, vowing, "[We will] demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive."

Apple filed the following request to ban Samsung's flagship phone in Northern District of California -- a San Francisco federal court -- late Tuesday.  The filing comes a couple weeks after the collapse of court-ordered settlement talks.

12-06-05 Apple Motion on Galaxy S III

Apple has already filed for bans on the other popular Galaxy smartphones, such as the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Nexus.

II. Apple Will Have to Compete With New Samsung Flagship Phone

The Cupertino gadget maker is reportedly preparing a larger size iPhone for a July launch, although no details have been officially discussed.  Sources close to the companies indicate that Apple is concerned that by beating it to launch, Samsung's Galaxy S III will get a jump on it in sales.

Apple store NYC
Apple is reportedly fearful of allowing the Galaxy S III to beat its sixth generation iPhone to the U.S. market this summer. [Image Source: Double DT]

Apple's quest to destroy Samsung's smartphone market share via lawsuits began in April 2011, when Apple called Samsung's original Galaxy smartphone a "copycat" of the iPhone.  Samsung has since countersued Apple in numerous jurisdictions.

Now as the suit nears completion, the effect on the company's relationship will likely be chilling.  In 2011 the pair did $8B USD in business.  Apple's payments to Samsung are expected to rise to $12B USD in 2012.  Samsung's biggest display customer is Apple and the South Korea-based electronics conglomerate also makes the chip "brains" for every iPad and iPhone sold at its plant in Texas.

While Apple stands a shot at its efforts to gain a court-enforced monopoly in the U.S., overseas it has been unable to prevent Samsung's flagship phone from watching.  Approximately 300 Asian and European carriers launched the smartphone on May 29.

For Apple the U.S. is the final battlefield.  The preliminary injunction hearing will be held today, at which point Apple will see whether it scores a big win or sees its dreams of hegemony slip through its fingers.

III. The Patents in Question

In its request for a preliminary injunction Apple cites two patents which it says Samsung's other Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus also infringes -- U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 (a patent on "unified search") and U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 (the "data tapping" patent on "linked structures").  

The data tapping patent allowed Apple to ban Android smartphone maker HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) shipments temporarily.  Google Inc. (GOOG) has since implemented a workaround.  To Apple's dismay U.S. Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints cleared HTC handsets with the fix on them late last month, lifting the ban.  But HTC is a small fish in the U.S. market -- Samsung is much more attractive game.

HTC handset
HTC phones were banned for the data tapping patent, but have since been freed.
[Image Source: Asa Mathat/All Things D]

The patent's enforcement is slightly controversial as it covers essentially a hyperlinking processing, describing the invention in a personal computer context.  Some question the patent's applicability to the smartphone realm and Apple's decision to "park" on this intellectual property real estate for a decade before looking to leverage it in a new market.

Samsung's attorney says that Apple's decision to tack on a request for a ban on the Galaxy S III violates the U.S. International Trade Commission's process, and that Apple must file a new preliminary injunction because it's amendment came too late.

The company writes, "If Apple wishes to seek an injunction against the Galaxy S III, the Court should require Apple to file a new motion and allow the parties to develop a full factual record on all four factors. Accordingly, the Court should reject Apple’s motion to amend its current notice of motion for a preliminary injunction."

We will keep you updated on what the court decides.

Source: Business Week

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I believe I speak for us all...
By Motoman on 6/7/2012 2:20:24 PM , Rating: 4
...when I say Apple can just go f%ck itself.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By quiksilvr on 6/7/2012 2:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
They have no chance in hell. Both will end up wasting millions of dollars on patent trolling and both will make buckets of cash selling their phones in the end.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By MozeeToby on 6/7/2012 3:16:58 PM , Rating: 1
So you're saying the lawyers will take their multi-million dollar payday without changing or accomplishing anything? Now where did I put that law school application...

By superstition on 6/8/2012 12:07:31 AM , Rating: 1
As if lawyers are to blame for our broken IP system.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By fteoath64 on 6/8/2012 4:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
You can say that to the Oracle lawyers (aka David Boise et all) in the Google lawsuit where Oracle LOST!. The best lawyers cannot win a case when the judge is doing a fine job (in understanding that part of the law).

That was the case in the Patent/Copyright case against Google on Java by Oracle which owned Sun MicroSystems.

By superstition on 6/25/2012 6:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
"The best lawyers cannot win a case when the judge is doing a fine job (in understanding that part of the law)."

So, you're agreeing with me.

By fteoath64 on 6/8/2012 3:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
You can say that to the Oracle lawyers (aka David Boise et all) in the Google lawsuit where Oracle LOST!. The best lawyers cannot win a case when the judge is doing a fine job (in understanding that part of the law).

That was the case in the Patent/Copyright case against Google on Java by Oracle which owned Sun MicroSystems.

By crazyirish on 6/8/2012 7:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
Apple should shut the hell up and work on making the Iphone 5 a game changer like the original Iphone was. By the time they finish deciding who's legal team is bigger, someone else is going to get into the market and make a play for the top spot.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2012 2:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly earlier on some argument could be made for the validity of Apple's approach, if one was biased enough, but now there can be no doubt that this is simply a belligerent monopolistic anti-competitive campaign.

I'm not a huge fan of anti-trust agencies, but hell, if we're going to have them at least apply enforcement evenly. Apple is definitely overdue for some type of antitrust probe or investigation.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By MozeeToby on 6/7/2012 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 3
On what grounds? Now, now, hear me out. First, I completely agree that Apple needs to go die in a fire on this one. It's abusive and annoying and it's breaking the industry but it's also exactly in line with today's patent law. So yeah, Apple takes all kinds of blame for their behavior, but the system should never have been run in such a way to allow this in the first place.

RE: I believe I speak for us all...
By Omega215D on 6/7/2012 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is also filing for another ban on HTC's One series despite the ITC clearing them. Apple is making good on it's promise for thermonuclear patent war. The delay in their phones being released seems to have hurt their bottom line even further.

Some think Apple is trying to hold off on the others releasing phones before their precious iPhone 5 piece of crap.

By Omega215D on 6/7/2012 4:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
Okay I could've worded that better but I'm reading a lot of other feeds on the matter.

By AMDftw on 6/7/2012 5:39:11 PM , Rating: 5
Yep, Apple is just scared of the truth.

By Mike Acker on 6/8/2012 8:05:41 AM , Rating: 2
i 2d that

By masamasa on 6/8/2012 9:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Waiting for the day they sink due to their own greed.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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