Apple sues Samsung over iPhone, iPad design : New gizmos, Gadgets gazette Blog

Monday, May 16, 2011

Apple sues Samsung over iPhone, iPad design

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc sued rival Samsung Electronics claiming that Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablet "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad , according to court papers.

Galaxy products use Google's Android operating system, the lawsuit says, which directly competes with Apple's mobile software. However, Apple's claims against Samsung focus on Galaxy's design features, such as the look of its screen icons.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday, alleges Samsung violated Apple's patents and trademarks.

"This kind of blatant copying is wrong," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement.

A Samsung representative could not immediately beJohn Jackson, an analyst with CCS Insight, said Samsung is essentially Apple's only real tablet competitor at this stage.

"It's clear that they do not intend to let Apple run away with the category," Jackson said.

Apple is one participant in a web of litigation among phone makers and software firms over who owns the patents used in smartphones. For instance, Nokia has sued Apple, which in turn sued handset maker HTC Corp.

U.S. International Trade Commission staff, at a hearing on Monday, recommended that HTC and Nokia shouldn't be found liable for infringing Apple's patents relating to smartphones, Bloomberg reported.

ITC staff acts on behalf of the public and its recommendations aren't binding.

In its lawsuit against Samsung, Apple noted that earlier versions of Samsung smart phones did not embody the same combination of Apple's designs.

"Even the icons in earlier versions of the Samsung smart phones looked different because they had a variety of shapes -- and did not appear as a field of square icons with rounded corners," the lawsuit said.

Apple is bringing 16 claims against Samsung, including unjust enrichment, trademark infringement and 10 patent claims.

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