Apple-Samsung Patent Fight Escalates Again

Lora Bentley

While we're on the subject of smartphone patents, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Apple has returned the favor for Samsung and filed a patent complaint with the International Trade Commission.


Apple alleges Samsung's Galaxy products violate seven different patents and asks the agency to ban the import of the Galaxy S mobile phones and Galaxy Tab computers. Last week Apple asked a federal court to suspend sales of the Galaxy devices until the patent infringement dispute is resolved.



If the ITC agrees to investigate the complaint, the case could be heard in 15 to 18 months, but analysts quoted in the story say an import ban on Samsung devices would be surprising. More likely, according to Gleacher & Company analyst Brian Marshall, the companies will settle and agree to a cross-licensing deal.


As Florian Mueller pointed out not long ago, the ferocity of this fight is surprising because Apple and Samsung have been partners until now. But, like Harris Private Bank's Jack Ablin told Bloomberg, the fact that Apple is aggressively protecting its patents should not be surprising because that's how Apple has always done things. "If you're in the business of design, you have to protect your patents," he said.

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