Apple Counters Samsung Lawsuit In UK

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In the store wars battle, Apple has counter-sued to ban Samsung’s Galaxy products from UK shops

Apple has filed a counter-suit against Samsung in the UK, as the ding-dong battle between the tablet and smartphone makers continue in European courtrooms.

Yesterday, iPad and iPhone maker Apple confirmed that it had lodged a lawsuit against Samsung with the Court of Chancery last Monday but did not reveal further details of the case.

This counterbalances Samsung’s action initiated with the British High Court last June when it filed an accusation that Apple “violated [Samsung’s] patented wireless technology inventions”, according to a statement issued at that time.

European Gloom For Samsung

The South Korean tablet maker is hoping for a more favourable outcome in the UK than it has experienced in Germany and the Netherlands. In recent judgements, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been withdrawn from sale in Germany and its Galaxy S series phones have been banned by the Dutch courts.

Samsung has initiated action against Apple in France and is appealing the other European rulings. The company is also fighting Apple in the Australian and Japanese courts as well as in California and at home in South Korea.

In many of the European cases, Apple is arguing that the Samsung products are straight copies of the iPad designs lodged with the US Patents and Trademarks Office in 2004. In its efforts to fight back, Samsung is arguing that the iPad is a derivative product rather than an innovative one.

In a recent article in the German Zeit Online (Times Online) publication, a quote from Henrik Timmann of law firm Rospatt Osten Pross, which represented Samsung in court, hardly helps its client’s case.

The quotation translates as: “Patent rights are rarely used as weapons. A company does not want to obstruct its competitors but does want to receive fair compensation for the use of its intellectual property, or be differentiated by the innovative characteristics of its competitor’s products.”

Although Timmann points out that this has no bearing on the Samsung lawsuit, its applicability hangs on whether he considers Apple to be using its claimed intellectual property as a weapon or that the claim is invalid because of prior art.

As yet, there is no sign of either party deciding to cut costs and trying to reach an out-of-court settlement. A lot will hang on the animosity that is growing between the combatants and the outcomes in Britain and France.

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