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Apple sues Samsung, says it copied iPad

Stephen Lawson | April 18, 2011
Apple has sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iPad, iPod and iPhone with its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy handsets.

Even the boxes for Samsung's products copied Apple, according to the complaint. For example, for the Galaxy S smartphone, Samsung uses a cleanly designed box dominated by an image of the phone, with the device cradled in the box so it appears as soon as the lid is removed, Apple said. Those packaging elements extend to the Galaxy Tab.

In addition to claiming protection for its "trade dress," Apple cited patents on several elements of its hardware and software design that it said Samsung violates. For example, the suit alleges Samsung infringed a patent on Apple's design for the slim buttons on the sides of its devices. It also says Samsung copied patented interface technologies, such as its method of making text messages between two people appear in bubbles on opposite sides of the screen.

Samsung's alleged copying has profited that company and hurt Apple by making consumers confuse its products with Apple's, according to the complaint.

"Samsung's marketing has played up the similarities between its Galaxy family and the Apple iPhone. ... Samsung's mobile phones were marketed as the phone that is closest to the iPhone," the complaint says.

The suit says Samsung engaged in "fraudulent and unlawful business practices" and unfair competition under California law. It also charges the company with "unjust enrichment" under federal law. "Apple seeks a worldwide accounting and disgorgement of all ill gotten gains and profits resulting from Samsung's inequitable activities," the complaint says.

The original iPhone was introduced in 2007, and the first iPad was announced in January 2010. Samsung introduced the Galaxy S in mid-2010 and the first Galaxy Tab late last year.


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