The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung has not paused in the past week, with lots of punches being thrown from both sides. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh confirmed Apple’s assertion that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets do, in fact, infringe on Apple’s iPad patents. The trick, however, is establishing the validity of the patents themselves. If Samsung can show that Apple’s patents may not be valid under the law then the case against them unravels. Interestingly, it was during this hearing that Koh made her now-famous move of holding up the two tablets and asking Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan to tell her which was which, which Sullivan could not.
Apple has also stated to Samsung that they’re not interested in licensing anything but the lower level patents, thus ruling out the theory that Apple is only leveling legal action against Samsung to kickstart a licensing agreement. While competitors Microsoft and HTC have a deal that yields Microsoft $5 per unit sold in exchange for some patent leeway, Apple is having none of that and wants to keep their best features and products to themselves.
Samsung themselves have also taken offensive legal action against Apple, looking for an injunction to block sales of the iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan (where they also want to block the iPhone 4 and iPad 2), citing technology patent infringements in Tokyo and wireless telecom standards patents in New South Wales. Apple has already succeeded in getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in Austrlia and Germany for patent infringement. The Netherlands have already dismissed Samsung’s claims against Apple and denied a sales injunction, whereas Samsung has had to substantially modify three Galaxy models before they could be sold there.
Yesterday, during Apple’s conference call to discuss year end financials, Tim Cook spoke briefly about the legal action being pursued against competitors, saying “We spend a lot of time and money and resources in coming up with incredible innovations, and we don’t like it when someone else takes those. And so that’s why we, unfortunately, have been pushed into the court system as a remedy to that.”