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Apple takes patent attacks in a new direction

Zach Epstein
December 20th, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Apple’s aggressive patent strategy has hit a few speed bumps lately. The Cupertino, California-based company won an injunction on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, but the ban was recently overturned. A German court then sided with Motorola in a retaliatory lawsuit, ordering an injunction on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, and declaring that European Apple subsidiary Apple Sales International pay damages related to the infringement. Finally, earlier this week, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC devices were not infringing on three Apple-owned patents. The ITC determined that a number of HTC devices did infringe on one Apple patent, but the Taiwan-based vendor already made it clear that a simple change will allow it to avoid the related injunction. Apropos, Apple’s legal team has decided to expand its efforts beyond patents covering technology integral to the function of its mobile products. Now, it will also attack competitors over their smartphone and tablet cases. Read on for more.

Apple has filed a new complaint against Samsung alleging that cases made for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and several Samsung phones infringe its patents, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The lawsuit was filed in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear which patents are covered in Apple’s new complaint, though the report states that 10 patents were named in total.

A Samsung spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Considering Apple’s willingness to spend time and resources pursuing this new complaint, the company seemingly has no plans to slow its aggressive patent attacks and it will leave no stone unturned as it continues to seek out potential violations of its protected intellectual property and designs.

As Apple looks for new reasons to sue its competitors, thus inviting new lawsuits and continuing the endless cycle of complaints and counter-complaints, we would like to remind the company that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 charger looks suspiciously like Apple’s famous 30-pin dock connector. If this new suit over cases doesn’t pan out, chargers might be the next logical step before progressing to other key areas such as product packaging. After all, other designs are possible.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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