Another day, and another legal action gets filed in the growing, two-way dispute between Samsung and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). The Korean device maker has now filed a counter-suit in Australia against Apple, alleging that the Cupertino-based company is infringing Samsung patents in its iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets. News of the suit comes on the same day that Samsung has reportedly detailed a plan to get the iPhone 5 banned on the same grounds when it is released later this year.
The case filed on Friday, September 16, in Sydney by Samsung appears to be following the same templates as the other cases Samsung has filed against Apple: it is focusing on wireless technology patent infringements; and it is going after Apple in markets where Apple has attacked Samsung.
Samsung is also using the case in Australia to assert that Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung, made in August, are invalid, according to Reuters.
So far, Apple’s case has caused significant disruption for Samsung in Australia: It has forced the company to delay the launch of that 10.1-inch Tab — Samsung’s newest and much-hyped tablet product — until the legal action gets resolved.
With the dispute ongoing, the launch delay is now approaching the two-month mark — a virtual eternity in the fast-moving world of mobile devices. Samsung also has an injunction on new models of its Tabs, including the 10.1 model, in Germany, also due to Apple’s infringement allegations.
Competition? There’s a suit for that. The delay in launching the Tab comes at a particularly bad time for Samsung: competitors are gearing up for the holiday-device rush with launches of their own, with Apple itself reportedly looking to splash with two new iPhones.
But just as Apple has caused problems for Samsung launching a new product, it looks like Samsung might have similar plans for Apple, too: a report in the Korea Times, quoting a “senior executive” at Samsung itself, says that Samsung plans to file an injunction request on the iPhone 5 in Korea, claiming the same infringements as it has on Apple’s earlier devices:
“Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents…For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.”
The report notes that the comments are related to the launch of the iPhone in Korea, but given that Samsung has not restricted its legal actions to Korea so far, it would be fair to guess that it could also launch such attacks in further markets, too, if this fight continues.
The case by Samsung in Australia follows a case filed by Apple in August, accusing Samsung of ripping off Apple’s iPad tablet design in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Apple and Samsung have now filed suits against each other in Australia, as well as the U.S., Europe (France, UK, Germany, Italy and Netherlands), Korea and Japan.