Apple files 2 new lawsuits against 15 Samsung smartphones and tablets in Germany
Looking for legal line in the sand
Two new design lawsuits have been taken out by Apple against its seemingly eternal patent rival Samsung at the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany.
As confirmed by Bloomberg, the two lawsuits accuse 10 Samsung smartphones - including the Galaxy SII - and five Samsung tablets of patent infringement.
Given many of these Samsung devices have been on the market for a while, Apple has opted not to file for preliminary injunctions. Rather, the two cases will be heard in trial in late August and late September 2012.
IP legal analyst Florian Mueller has managed to uncover the designs in question, which he claims were filed in the names of up to 12 inventors, including Steve Jobs and Jony Ive.
In reply, Samsung applied to have said designs nullified back in August 2011
The legal furore between the two firms is now well established, of course, stretching across borders in four continents.
In Germany alone, Mueller claims seven technical patents are currently being asserted by Samsung against Apple in Mannheim, while Apple - on top of the two Düsseldorf design lawsuits - is suing Samsung over six technical patents it believes are being infringed.
For Mueller's part, he believes it will be much harder for the two parties to settle their product design disagreements than the ones focused on tecnical inventions.
"For technical patents, the end game could be a cross-license agreement," he said on his blog, suggesting Samsung may end up paying Apple for the use of some patents, with Apple in turn paying for some Samsung patents while reserving some patents for itself, or placing restrictions on their use by Samsung.
"But for those design rights issues, it may not be possible to structure a mutually acceptable settlement," he concluded.
"The two companies may just need the courts to clarify the boundaries of Apple's exclusive design-related rights."
The next tussle between the two parties will come in the form of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court's judgment on Samsung's appeal against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 preliminary injunction in Germany in two weeks time, which led to the device being banned from sale.
[source: Foss Patents]
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