Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has filed suit against Apple Inc. to seek a ban of the sale of the iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan after a defeat in its attempt to ban the sale of the newest iPhone in the Netherlands.
Samsung has been aggressive in pursuing its intellectual property rights with respect to patents over the technologies behind 3G after being hit by lawsuits from Apple in more than a dozen countries in three continents.
Apple sued Samsung on claims that the Galaxy devices are "slavishly" imitating the design and functionality of the iPad and iPhone. On Thursday, an Australian federal court judge granted Apple's bid to continue an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Injunctions were earlier issued against the Galaxy S2 and/or the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Netherlands and Germany.
As sales have been hit by the ban, Samsung has said it will no longer allow Apple and others to have a "free ride" of its technology. Samsung early this month countered with a lawsuit seeking a ban on the sales of the iPhone 4S in Italy and France on grounds that it violates Samsung's wireless patents.
In the United States, the presiding judge over the Apple vs. Samsung case, Judge Lucy Koh, has stated that Samsung seems to be infringing on Apple's design patents. To further illustrate her point, the judge held up the two devices, iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, and asked Samsung's legal counsel, Kathleen Sullivan, which she asked to identify which is which. The legal counsel was not able to answer. The judgment is to be issued soon.
Samsung, which produces parts (screens, processors and RAMs) for the iPhone and the iPad, is engaged in stiff competition with Apple in the mobile devices market.
Apple two weeks ago finally released the iPhone 4S, which has an upgraded processor, camera, software, and features as virtual assistant. While having improved specs and new features, fans have been expecting that an iPhone with an overhauled design, i.e., the iPhone 5, would be launched.
Nonetheless, iPhone 4S had a record launch of 4 million units sold over the weekend. The new phone sports a 3.5-inch screen; an 8-megapixel, 1080p high-definition camera; an A5 dual-core chip processor that is seven times faster than the graphics processor in the iPhone 4; 512 MB of RAM; two antennae to transmit and receive data; CDMA and GSM connectivity; eight hours of 3G talk-time, and new applications like Siri and Find My Friends. Siri is a voice-recognition system that turns the device into a hands-free personal assistant.
Samsung on the other hand had a global launch in March - and a release in September in the U.S. - of its Galaxy S2 smartphones. It releases later this month its Galaxy Nexus or Nexus prime, the first smartphone to run on Google Inc.'s newest operating system, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Nexus Prime will be 9-mm thin, will have a 4.65-inch screen and a 1.2GHz to 1.5GHz dual-core Exynos processor.
A victory in -- or a resolution of -- the IP disputes with Apple is critical for Samsung because while demand for its Galaxy smartphones has increased, sales of displays and semiconductors are struggling. A ban on iPhone sales would also hurt Apple as sales of the device contribute 40 percent of revenues. Apple sold 20.4 million iPhone units and recorded $13.3 billion of revenues from the sale of these devices for the quarter ended June 25, 2011, according to its reports to the U.S. government.
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