Earlier this week, we caught wind that Apple was suing its buddy Samsung, with accusations that the icon designs that Samsung’s been using for its line of Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets represent “blatant copying” of the icons Apple uses for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple and Samsung have seemingly had a civil working relationship up until recently, as Apple buys a fair number of mobile parts from Samsung—mostly microchips and LCD screens. Samsung noted this same fact, but ultimately decided it wasn’t going to take things lying down, saying, “Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time.”
And Samsung has indeed responded strongly, as Reuters reports that Samsung has filed its own lawsuits against Apple in Germany, Japan and South Korea. Samsung claims that Apple has violated 10 of its mobile technology patents “mainly involving power reduction during data transmission, 3G technology for reducing errors during data transmission, and wireless data communication technology,” says Reuters.
I’m no lawyer, but it’s odd that it’s taken until now for these lawsuits to see the light of day. It’d be interesting to know if (and for how long) Apple and Samsung had been trying to avoid this spilling out into the courts, given the two companies’ past business relationship.
It could also be that, given Samsung’s growth as an Android manufacturer, Apple’s no longer interested in buying parts from a company that’s become one of its biggest competitors in the mobile and tablet spaces. As Reuters points out, “Samsung is one of the fastest growing smartphone makers on the back of the Android boom”—a boom that’s a threat to Apple.
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