Samsung: 4G Galaxy Tab & iPad 2 aren't rivals

Samsung and Apple have been locked in numerous legal battles over allegations of patent infringements leveled by both companies against each other, but most of this jousting has been directed at the Korean company by Apple over design patents. The Galaxy Tab has been a casualty in particular of Apple's belligerent approach, and has faced numerous bans in European countries like Germany, and in Australia as well.

An early Galaxy Tab from the Samsung stables (via Wikimedia Commons)

Now, Apple has been fighting to get the Galaxy Tab banned as well from the US. Apple has requested for preliminary injunctions against the Android tablet, claiming it infringes on various patents it holds for its humongously popular iPad 2.

Now, Samsung has defended its slate, claiming that the 4G LTE capabilities of the Galaxy Tab put it in a different market sector than the purely 3G iPad 2. Apple had managed to revert an early decision from the Federal Court in order to obtain a preliminary injunction against the Samsung device.

Noted patents expert Florian Mueller wrote in his FOSS Patents Blog:

"Judge O'Malley indicated between the lines that she considers Samsung a reckless infringer whose Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be shut down sooner rather than later, and she clearly wants patent holders to have great access to injunctive relief. "
"While Apple continues to believe that the 10.1N still infringes (under EU law), the fact that Samsung made an effort to avoid further infringement calls into question that continued infringement must be allowed by the court for hardship and public interest reasons."

Samsung is said to have a point in its assertion that the 4G capabilities of its Galaxy Tab allow it to attract a different group of customers, compared to Apple. The Apple iPad 2 does not have a 4G capable variant, which is said to imply that there is sufficient differentiation between the two tablets in the market for there to not be any significant overlap in target audiences. This, however, may prove to be too 'weak' to prevent a preliminary injuction, according to Mueller, but may have greater credence later down the line.


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