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Apple sues Samsung, says it copied iPad

By Stephen Lawson
April 18, 2011 09:10 PM ET

IDG News Service - Apple has sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iPad, iPod and iPhone with its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy handsets.

Samsung copied Apple technologies, designs and even packaging with its Google Android-based products, according to a complaint filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Apple is seeking a jury trial in the case.

"Instead of pursuing independent product development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple's innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple's valuable intellectual property rights," Apple says in the complaint.

Late last year, Samsung became the first major consumer electronics maker to roll out a tablet to compete with the iPad. It is also one of the world's largest makers of mobile phones, especially handsets that use Android.

The complaint includes 10 charges of patent infringement, two of trademark violation and two of trade dress violations, plus unjust enrichment and unfair business practices. Apple named Samsung Electronics, Samsung America and Samsung Telecommunications America as defendants. The case was filed at the district court in San Francisco but is being transferred to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler at the court's Oakland, California, location.

A spokesman for Samsung in the U.S. said the company had no comment on the lawsuit. Apple officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The allegations span a broad range of Samsung's mobile devices, including the Epic 4G, Captivate, Indulge, Nexus S and Galaxy S 4G smartphones as well as the Galaxy Tab. Apple singled out the Galaxy product line for criticism.

"The copying is so pervasive, that the Samsung Galaxy products appear to be actual Apple products -- with the same rectangular shape with rounded corners, silver edging, a flat surface face with substantial top and bottom black borders, gently curving edges on the back, and a display of colorful square icons with rounded corners," the complaint says.

Apple wants an injunction to stop Samsung's alleged intellectual property violations, along with actual and punitive damages, Samsung's "wrongfully obtained profits" and funds for corrective advertising about the allegedly confusing products.

Apple said Samsung continued the alleged violations despite repeated objections, leaving the company no choice but to sue.

In the complaint, Apple laid out several detailed design elements of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that it said Samsung copied. They include the rectangular case with rounded corners, the metallic edge and the thick, black bands that appear at the top and bottom of the iPhone and iPod Touch and all around the iPad. In addition to copying these, Samsung designed application icons for its devices that closely emulated Apple's icons for the phone, music player, notepad, contacts and settings functions, among others. Apple said those icons violate its trademarks.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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