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Apple launches fresh Samsung suits in Germany

Apple has launched two new suits against Samsung in the German courts, this time targeting 15 Samsung smartphones and tablets over their supposed infringement of Apple's design rights.The two companies are engaging in a global war over patents, with Germany having proved to be a particularly active battlefield.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Apple has launched two new suits against Samsung in the German courts, this time targeting 15 Samsung smartphones and tablets over their supposed infringement of Apple's design rights.

The two companies are engaging in a global war over patents, with Germany having proved to be a particularly active battlefield. Before the suits reported on Tuesday, the last shot was fired by Samsung less than a month ago, when the company sued Apple for allegedly infringing on four patents, including one for entering smiley faces on screens.

Apple filed the new suits in the Düsseldorf district court. According to Bloomberg, one of the suits names 10 Samsung smartphones, while the other relates to five Samsung tablet models.

Apple's attacks over the supposed design similarities between Samsung's tablets and the iPad line have already forced Samsung to redesign its Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the German market, changing the edges and making the company logo more prominent. The revised version is called the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

The US company has tried to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1N banned as well, but the district court said just before Christmas (PDF, in German) that it was disinclined to stop sales of the revamped device.

As patent observer Florian Mueller noted on his FOSS Patents blog, Apple has not gone for preliminary injunctions in its latest suits, as it did with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 action. This means nothing much is likely to happen until the hearings kick off in August for the smartphones and September for the tablets.

In the US battle to thwart Samsung, Apple's lawyers said last October that competitors should not make rectangular phones with a screen on front and an uncluttered appearance, and that only Apple should be allowed to make thin, rectangular tablets with flat surfaces and thin bezels.

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