iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S II

Apple is looking to expand its current German ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to a variety of Samsung smartphones on similar grounds of design patent infringement. The Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus are both in the crosshairs, and no doubt many other touchscreen slate smartphones. 

Although the situation sounds dire, it's not all that bad. Apparently Samsung had released a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany to get around the ban, and the courts admitted that they would have a heard time halting imports despite being able to lock down local sales. Apple, in turn, isn't exactly having a field day in Germany; Motorola recently won a case against Apple for infringing on some key 3G patents.

I'd be curious to see the other eight phones which Apple is claiming design infringement upon. These days, you could throw a rock in any direction and hit a smartphone that looks vaguely like an iPhone. Although it definitely feels like a flaky basis on which to screw with a competitor's business, it's clearly good enough for the German courts to act upon. Luckily not all international courts are siding with Apple in these design infringement cases. 

Source: Bloomberg


Reader comments

Apple renews lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, targeting 10 smartphones


This is why Apple stock is plummeting to the ground.

Future forecast: RIM dies, MICROSOFT'S Ballmer is still blind, but now has a magnifying glass to help him see money, ANDROID still does innovation while gathering protection and making the world a better place, and APPLE has a temper tantrum as they become the next RIM.

And that's the future brought to you from my time skipping Delorean...

"We invented the rectangle, nobody else has the right to make anything that is rectangular in shape."


Exactly. Don't forget they own the word Apple, any images that resemble apples, and they own the word pod too!

*Laughs hysterically.* You've got to be kidding me. What are they contesting? The speak shape? The black outline? Look apple... unless your competitors have exactly the same device dimensions, or they start putting a single button with a square on their devices, jsut give it up!

*Wipes a tear from his eye.* Wooo... I'm sorry. This is just amusing anymore. Unless Apple actually patents the smartphone concept I don't see how they have any case whatsoever. They're phones and tablets for pete sake, of course they're going to look similar when the buyers have a desire for a screen and maybe one button with as tiny a case as it can be crammed in.

i guess i am just kind of confused. i mean i don't understand why this is only happening in Germany? why is it not world wide? its ridiculous. apple just wants to take over the entire effing world and have all of the mobile market share.

Because there is this particular court in Germany where lawsuits of this kind are successful. The path of least resistance.

Because german judges are stupid enough to believe Apple's claims, specifically when apple doctored lawsuit images.

Just a point of reference - the only place the Nazi movement ever really took off was in Germany.

Nazi Germany
Apple® Germany

Sorry it's just so obvious to me.

(Had to use ® because Apple® might sue me.)

@Glenuendo -- Not really. Apple are becoming a laughingstock with their frivoluos lawsuits. They are too butthurt that Samsung alone sells more smartphones than them. Add the rest of the Android vendors, and look at the trends, and you see that they are grasping straws to maintain marketshare.

I agree with you on some extent but we still lose in a way. The manufactures have to employ more and more lawyers and they are expensive. Guess who eventually pays for that?

I consider that a loss.

I'm tired of this "Touchwiz copies iOS" BS. I bought my first Samsung phone a couple months ago, and aside from the square icons and horizontally scrolling app drawer, they are not alike at all. It's ironic because before I actually acquired a Samsung phone, I kind of took people's word for it that Touchwiz was an iOS clone.

I've already started. When I bought my HTC Rezound I gave my iPod Touch to a friend and cancelled my iTunes account. I no longer own anything made by Apple.

In my fifty two year existence in this world, I can proudly say I have never owned an Apple product. You may scoff at my meager accomplishments in life, but the days increasingly demonstrate that one goal to be a grand and noble one.

Apple's success rate with these suits is low. I'm surprised they haven't trade marked "iCourt" so they can sue entire justice systems.

This is getting pathetic. I think Apple is so self absorbed that they are just grasping at anything they can. My little sister who use to be a big apple fan just gave her I-Phone away along with all her friends. She told me that Apple was "so yesterday" Uncle Vinny. Even the young teenagers are passing Apple up for the new much more open platform called Android.

I think Samsung killed Steve Jobs, thats the only explanation for this blind out-lashing.

Btw Apple, liking that Notification Bar??

I am so sick of Apple. It's bad enough the lemmings praise Job's as a demigod but his legacy is that of endless and frivolous lawsuits. Apple is beginning to see the writing on the wall and they will begin to tank just like they did with the Mac. History has a habit of repeating itself and it's just about time for the re-runs to start in the mobile market and tablet market.

Steve Jobs, circa 1994: "I have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

Translation: "It's only OK if I do it"

No wonder Apple products are so overpriced. So many lawsuits going they need to cover legal fees.

Especially their PCs are WAY overpriced. You basically get one of their laptops for $1300-1500 which is basically a $600-900 windows PC with MAC OS on it. Apple supporters so dumb to pay for this stuff.

So I just looked over these design patents... OMG. Apple seriously needs to just burn.

The patents in a nutshell state:

That no one can create a small, flat, rectangular device with rounded corners and also prohibits the use of the colors black or white.

WHAT!?! Someone actually granted these patents? Apple, its' products, and now the legal actions started by Steve Jobs and continued by Apple against the technology industry as a whole need to come to an end. I cannot wait for the day that Apple suffers the same fate as its' founder Steve Jobs.

Luckily, in Europe, they have a "losers pay" rule for court costs.
If Apple loses, they have to fork over a barrel of money to Samsung.

No such luck in the messed up US court system :-P

Here's hoping Apple has a bigggggg losing year in patent suits outside the country :-)

I have never owned an Apple product and never will. I've always hated Apple. Overpriced, one-size-fits-all, elitist, iCrap products.