This week has been a mixed basket of results for three top mobile phone manufacturers embroiled in a number of patent suits. Apple, Samsung and Motorola have taken each other to court in a number of combinations as they each try to block, or at the very least, stall their competitors from bringing products into the market that compete directly with theirs.
In some of the latest developments, a German court has ruled in favour of Samsung in a case where Apple had sued Samsung to have their Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 device banned from sale in Germany and Europe at large. The Europe-wide ban request was squashed initially but the court did uphold Apple’s complaint against the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The court has with this most recent ruling however allowed Samsung to sell a different version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N in the German market because it is, in the view of the court, significantly different from the Apple iPad.
In a separate filling, Apple has lodged a case in a California court seeking to block the sale of the Galaxy Nexus in the US. The case targets the device that runs Google’s Ice cream Sandwich operating system and which Apple says has numerous patent infringements.
This comes close on the heels of a previous ruling that effectively banned the sale of HTC phones in the US but that which HTC circumvented through a software update. Apple have also gone after Samsung for two patent infringements related to the auto correct function in Samsung smartphones, among other patent infringements.
Apple has however not gone unscathed as they were recently in court on the receiving end of a patent suit filled by Motorola. The case has however been thrown out of court.
As the patent wars heat up, there seems to be no clear end in sight as all companies file for more and more patents for features that are increasingly bordering on plain ridiculous. The onus may now be on the US Patent Office to find a way of reigning in patent buccaneering by all parties involved.