Can’t we all just get along? When it comes to international tech megacorps, apparently not. Fresh off of Apple’s refusal to accept a settlement in the Australian patent case over the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung has filed preliminary injunctions in both Italy and France to halt the sales of the new iPhone 4S before they even begin. Apple had hoped to rollout the updated iPhone across 70 countries later this month.
Samsung says that it intends to seek similar sales bans in other nations as well. The legal maneuver is the latest in a long saga of civil battles across the world, with Samsung and Apple’s being the most frequent and brutal. Apple claims that Samsung has “slavishly copied” its design and interface to mimic both the iPhone and iPad in its Android devices, and has won injunctions banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and Germany. Samsung has counter-sued in many more locations.
In addition, Samsung is attempting to remove Apple’s design rights to the iPad in Europe, claiming that the basic design existed long before the iDevice. Apple won the design application seven years ago – long before any of the current mess – but Samsung asserts that the basic principle behind the slate form factor is neither new nor innovative. If they were to win their appeal, it could have serious worldwide implications for current cases.
The American front of the patent war will be heating up soon, as Apple’s civil case against Samsung will be heard later this year in California. Both Verizon and T-Mobile have filed in support of Samsung. While most patent fights end in some kind of settlement or licensing agreement, the fued between Apple and Samsung looks like it will continue unabated for the foreseeable future.