Apple targets Samsung smartphones, tablets with new German lawsuits

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Apple has filed suit against Samsung once again in Germany, aiming to have sales of 10 of the Korean company’s smartphones halted. In a separate, newly filed suit, Apple also targeted five Samsung tablet models.

The new suit targeting smartphones, including the Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus, is based on design rights held by Apple in Europe, according to a spokesman for the Düsseldorf court where the suit was filed, speaking to Bloomberg. Apple recently filed suit in Australia against Samsung’s smartphones and tablets based on design patents, and was initially successful in securing a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung then redesigned specifically for the German market as the Galaxy Tab 10.1N to get the devices to retailers.

By filing based on design rights, Apple runs the risk of having Samsung avoid any injunctions that may be levied through making relatively small changes to the physical design of its mobile products, as it did with the 10.1N. But Apple is targeting a broad selection of Samsung devices with this latest suit, so if it does succeed, making changes to all those products will still be a very costly and annoying proposition for Samsung.

If Apple’s goal is to force Samsung to distance itself more from Apple’s own designs to avoid consumer confusion, then forcing physical case changes is also a good way to accomplish that.

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