Apple Moves To Block Samsung Imports

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Apple has filed a preliminary injunction in an attempt to block importation of Samsung products into the US

Apple has filed a preliminary injunction against Korean phone maker Samsung to block the importation of four of its Android devices into the US, in a move to quickly force Samsung into capitulation in a wider patent dispute.

The injunction, filed on Friday with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, targets Samsung’s Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1. It cites three design patents and one utility patent related to list-scrolling and document presentation.

‘No legal basis’

Apple said it was targeting only these four devices for the moment but said it reserved the right to seek similar injunctions against future products such as the Galaxy S 2 phone and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet.

The four patents in question are a subset of those involved in the wider dispute between the two companies and were selected as being examples that can be evaluated particularly quickly, Apple said.

Samsung responded in a statement that there was “no legal basis” for the motion.

“We will continue to serve our customers, and sales of Samsung products will proceed as usual,” Samsung stated. “Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The latest move by Apple is intended to bring the wide-ranging dispute to a quicker resolution by forcing Samsung to give in, according to industry observer Florian Mueller.

“Shooting for a preliminary injunction is a bold gamble for Apple,” he wrote in an analysis on Friday. “If Apple’s motion is granted, Samsung will be forced within a matter of a few months — possibly less than two months — to take it flagship Android-based products from the U.S. market. Just the possibility of this happening could lead Samsung to settle with Apple early on. But if Samsung doesn’t cave and Apple’s motion fails, Apple’s position will look weak.”

The legal battle between Apple and Samsung began in April with an Apple lawsuit against Samsung for “copying” its mobile devices. Samsung has responded with lawsuits in the US and other countries as the battle continues to expand.

Unreleased products

As part of the dispute both companies have demanded access to unreleased products including the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S II.

Last week Samsung filed an ITC complaint against Apple which could result in an import ban on the iPhone, iPad and iPod lines into the US.

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