The battle between Apple and Samsung has just been escalated. On Friday, just before a long holiday weekend, Apple filed a preliminary injunction against Samsung with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking to block sales of four of Samsung's latest mobile devices.
Those four devices include three smartphones and one tablet: the Infuse (AT&T), Galaxy S 4G (Sprint), Droid Charge (Verizon), and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (wi-fi and Verizon). The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has not shipped on Verizon's network yet, but the other devices are all shipping.
these products infringe on three of its design patents, and one utility patent.
In its filing, Apple said, "A preliminary injunction is necessary not only to protect Apple's rights, but also to protect the public interest. Because Apple has demonstrated a likelihood of success on its claims, the public interest would be served by prohibiting Samsung from infringing Apple's patents."
Those are the only devices that Apple has asked for a preliminary injunction on, although other devices were included in its initial lawsuit. For now, the still-to-be-released Galaxy S II smartphone and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet are unaffected, but the Cupertino company said that it "reserves the right to seek a preliminary injunction against those two products as their release becomes imminent."
Apple filed suit against Samsung in April. Samsung later fired back with its own lawsuit.
Despite the legal battles, it's always seemed that the two companies would work things out, based on the fact that Samsung was one of Apple's biggest suppliers, including the A5 chip used in the iPad 2 and expected to be used in the iPhone 5. However, a recent report indicated that Apple would be dumping Samsung
, and would instead use TSMC for the A6 SoC (system-on-a-chip).
Meanwhile, Samsung hasn't stood still this week. On Tuesday, Samsung filed an International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint against Apple, seeking an import ban against the iPhone, iPad and iPod product lines within 16 to 18 months. It also filed a lawsuit in Delaware.
On Wednesday, Samsung filed a lawsuit with the London-based High Court of England and Wales. On that day, the Wall Street Journal reported on a recent Samsung lawsuit in Italy.
Finally, on Thursday, Samsung increased the number of U.S. patents involved in its lawsuit by two, now asserting that Apple violates 17 different Samsung U.S. patents.
It looks like the two "partners" are heading for an unhappy divorce.