San Diego – In an ongoing battle over what Apple is alleging to be blatant infringement of its intellectual property, it recently filed a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit against Samsung. The infringing products up for debate are Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, which are said to infringe on Apple’s line of iPhones and iPads.
Apple’s charges include patent infringement and trademark/trade dress infringements which cover similarities in packaging and appearance. Reportedly, Apple is upset at Samsung for allegedly taking patent and design ideas such as organizing application icons into grids and making smartphones with rounded corners. In its complaint, Apple argued, “Rather than innovate, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface, and innovative style in these infringing products.”
Samsung is not responding to the claims lightly, threatening legal action of its own against Apple over similar charges of patent infringement. According to a Samsung spokesperson, “We [Samsung] think Apple has violated our patents in communications standards. We are considering a counterclaim.” This is an awkward position for the Seoul-based Samsung, considering that it is one of Apple’s main suppliers for computer components. In 2010, Apple purchased an estimated $5.7 million from Samsung in semiconductors alone and reportedly may begin purchasing iPad display panels from Samsung as well.
In the world of smartphone technology, Apple’s lawsuit is just another iron in the fire as competitors jockey to gain patent protection for their innovations. It is not uncommon for large technology companies to take legal action against each other alleging patent infringement and to stockpile patents in order to avoid the patent infringement claims altogether.