Patent Wars: Apple Versus Samsung/Samsung Versus Apple

News Harmon Leon 16:59, Jul 07 2011

The bitter, dysfunctional feud between Apple and Samsung- is worse than the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver debacle.

Mommy! Daddy! Why are you fighting!? Please stop fighting! I love both of you-why can't we all just get along?

The marriage is over. (Though it's not really a marriage.) If you haven't been following the bitter, dysfunctional feud between Apple and Samsung-it's worse than the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver debacle. Here's the skinny:

-Two months ago Apple sued Samsung for copying the "look and feel" of its iPhone and iPad when the company emerged with its Galaxy S line of smartphones and tablets. In Apple's words, Samsung "slavishly copied Apple's innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple's intellectual property rights." Whoops!

-Tit-for-tat: Samsung responded with a countersuit-pointing fingers at Apple for infringing on five patents relating to wireless networking technology. Samsung filed suits in three separate courts in Korea, Japan, and Germany.

-More sour grapes: Apple launched its latest lawsuit yesterday against Samsung. (Why can't they launch cool new iPhone features instead?) The company filed a complaint to seek an injunction that would prevent the Korean giant's key Android smartphones and tablets from being imported into the United States. With their seve technical patents and design patents, Apple is trying to hit Samsung's Android where it lives.

Patent infringement lawsuits are all the rage in the smartphone stratosphere. Here's a taste of a few that have emerged over the past few years:

-In 2007, AT&T sued Vonage. The case involved everything from voice mail to interconnect links and includes compression and packet technologies.

-Nokia sued Apple in 2009. They claimed that Apple used 10 of Nokia's patents related to Wi-Fi, phone calls and other various features. Then Apple turned around and sued Nokia for the following infringements on the iPhone: pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface, phone connections to computers, touch screen menus, teleconferencing and power conservation.

-2010 saw Microsoft filing a lawsuit against Motorola over patent infringement with Android phones. Microsoft claimed that Motorola violated nine patents, including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

-Just this week, Mosaid filed a suit against Sony Ericsson for patent infringement involving technology that enables cells to transmit the phone's geographic location when the user makes an emergency 911 call.

Imagine HD television manufacturers suing each other because their flat screens and menus resembled each other. Is this getting ridiculous or is it reasonable to sue over the "look and feel" of a product?

Get the discussion rolling and let us know what you think!

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