Apple smarting over Samsung phones

Apple is suing Samsung for 'copying' the iPhone and iPad, in the latest instalment of the smartphone soap-opera...

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 24 Oct 2012

Apple is in court claiming that Samsung has ‘slavishly’ copied the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy products. Not only is this an interesting spat in itself; it also shines a revealing light on the incestuous nature of the tech world…

The Galaxy range includes various phones and a tablet (currently the only real competitor to Apple’s iPad) and runs on Google’s Android operating system – another direct rival to Steve Jobs’ outfit. Apple reckons Samsung has ripped off its design features, such as the look of its screen icons. But Samsung has hit back claiming that everything is the result of its own R&D, and that it’s prepared to use any legal means to protect its own IP.

Now the ins and outs of this one are for the courts to decide. But it won’t be an easy job, with the lawyers on both sides armed to the teeth with super-smart counter-arguments. And it’s complicated by the way these companies are so co-dependent. Samsung may be a rival here, but it also supplies Apple with microchips used in some Apple products, such as the A4 and A5 processors, as well as memory chips for MacBook Pro laptops. For the Silicon Valley giant, it’s essentially like going to war with someone who controls your gas pipeline. (Or, perhaps, attacking the milkman for sleeping with your wife – and then having to find another source of succour for your Shreddies).

And the bickering doesn’t end with Apple and Samsung. Phone makers and software firms are all at it over who owns the patents used in smartphones: Nokia has sued Apple, and Apple has previously sued handset maker HTC for patent infringement, as well as suing Motorola alleging that its smartphones use Apple IP. Now Apple is bringing 16 claims against Samsung, including unjust enrichment, trademark infringement and 10 patent claims. Let’s see how long it takes for the estate of Alexander Graham Bell to pick up on the action...

 

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