Apple Sues Samsung For Infringing On iPad, iPhone Case Design Patents

Apple has now sued Samsung for infringing on iPad and iPhone case design patents in Australia.

Bloomberg reports:

Apple Inc…, which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung phones infringe its patents and registered design.

Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents. [..]

[..] The case dispute was disclosed at the end of a seven-hour hearing at which Apple attempted to persuade Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett to delay a scheduled trial in Sydney on Samsung’s claims that Apple’s iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2, infringe its patents governing wireless transmissions on 3G networks.

The problem is that it’s not clear which cases Apple is referring to in the lawsuit. Samsung makes a variety of cases for its devices, and Apple certainly can’t target them for cases which other companies are producing. As MacRumors reports, there have been accessory companies that have copied iPad 2’s Smart cover case, which got Samsung into trouble.

Samsung did, however, find itself amid controversy earlier this year after accessory company Anymode offered a “Smart Case” for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that closely resembled the iPad 2 Smart Cover. While the product initially appeared to carry Samsung’s stamp of approval and came from a company with familial connections to Samsung, a blog post issued by Samsung quickly clarified that the product was not in fact approved by Samsung and was immediately pulled before it had begun selling. 

But given that the Smart Case was not directly produced by Samsung, it does not seem that Apple’s claims of infringement would relate to that product.

The patent saga between Apple and Samsung seems to have taken another twist and we doubt if it will ever end.

[via Bloomberg]

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