Samsung suffers double blow in patents row with Apple

Samsung’s legal teams have had a bad week at the office, facing trouble in a patent war with Apple in two separate courts today.

Samsung suffers double blow in patents row with Apple

In a legal battle over the similarities between Apple’s iOS phones and tablets and similar devices from Samsung, the iPad maker has scored victories in the US, Australia and Europe, with scant few crumbs available for Samsung.

In Holland, Samsung today lost its bid to have all Apple products that used 3G banned for breaking wireless patents.

In a tit-for-tat case that mirrors an earlier European ban on Samsung products, a judge in The Hague dismissed Samsung’s claims of patent infringement, threw out Apple’s counter claims, and ordered the serial patent rivals to pay for each other’s legal costs.

Can any of Samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?

Spot the difference

The victory came hours after a US court ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab did indeed violate Apple patents in a separate case in which Apple is seeking to ban the product from the US over its similarities with the iPad.

Although Judge Lucy Koh said Apple still needed to show the validity of the patents in question, she believed the tablets were remarkably similar and at one point floored Samsung’s legal team by asking them if they could identify which tablet was which when she held them up.

Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan, standing ten feet away, was left in the embarrassing position of admitting “not at this distance your honour,” according to the Reuters news agency.

“Can any of Samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?” the judge asked, before one of Samsung’s legal team supplied the right answer.

Apple’s US representatives must now provide the judge with evidence that the patents ruled to have been breached by Samsung are valid before the judge takes any further action.

Global battle

The US victory came a day after Apple won a yet another ruling, in the Federal Court in Australia, with a judge issuing an injunction banning Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 slate PC Down Under.

The Australian judge did however today offer a crumb of comfort for Samsung’s legal team. According to the Sydney Morning Herald the judge responsible for the case rejected a request from Apple that would have forced Samsung to show it details of any future tablets at least 10 days before it went on sale in the country.

Apple had sought the early notice to prevent Samsung from releasing a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to get around the initial injunction.

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