MIchelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 11-08-2011
Apple has been ratcheting up its patent infringement activities, suing both Samsung for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola for its Xoom tablet, alleging they are copycats and infringe on its registered EU Community Design for the iPad.
Apple has won a preliminary injunction against Samsung to prevent the launch of the Tab in Australia and Germany (the latter injunction might be expanded throughout the Eurozone), and has now filed suit against Motorola in Germany. Both tablets are based on the Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS and are widely considered the closest thing to an iPad killer that exists in the market today.
Apple has been very active of late in the litigation realm, with ongoing disputes in motion. In April, Apple sued Samsung in a general patent dispute, saying the Galaxy tablet and smartphones are “slavish” copies of Apple’s iconic industrial design and infringe on a rash of Apple patents.
Meanwhile, Samsung has asked the International Trade Commission to block sales of Apple devices because of patent infringements. It has also filed country-specific lawsuits in South Korea, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany and the US.
When it comes to Motorola and Apple, there are four lawsuits and two ITC investigations are pending in the US between the two companies.
While the hardware differences would seem to be obvious, many of the complaints that Apple is filing have to do with basic tablet functionality, such as scrolling, pinching and zooming via a touchscreen. Apple’s complaint also covers “trade dress” concerns, like the Tab product packaging – the very box is at issue.
With Android steadily taking market share, however, “we believe the company will undertake every possible step to safeguard its dominant position in the smartphone and tablet market, including further lawsuits against major competitors such as Samsung,” noted research firm Zacks Equity, in a blog. “However, the outcome remains uncertain.”
Android now has 48% of global market share, according to a new report from Canalys. This figure is based on estimates from the second quarter of 2011, which also shows Android to be tops among shipments to 35 of the 56 countries tracked by the analyst firm. Google’s operating system is up a huge 379% over one year ago to nearly 52 million shipments, the study says.