Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung now include twelve courts in nine countries on four continents. Reuters reported this morning that Apple is now formally suing Samsung in Japan and seeking to block sales of Samsung phones and tablets in the country:
Apple has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan, according to sources close to the matter. The first hearing was held on Wednesday, the source said.
The iPhone maker is seeking 100 million yen, or approximately $1.3 million, in damages. Apple previously had filed four complaints before the Tokyo District Court, according to patent expert Florian Müller. Coincidentally, Japan is also another high-revenue market for Apple. Other countries where Apple took Samsung to court include Germany, U.K., U.S., Australia and more.
Samsung’s Galaxy S has outsold the iPhone in Japan last year. In July of this year, Samsung announced sales of three million Galaxy S II phones in 55 days, the successor to the popular Galaxy S handset. Samsung is also the world’s #2 smartphone maker, after Apple. The Korean company surprised investors by deciding against divulging sales of phones and tablets in the face of growing competition with Apple. Android-based handsets and iPhones together hold well over three-quarters of the Japanese market for smartphones, forming a duopoly which is present in pretty much every other market where Google and Apple compete are locked in the battle for smartphone supremacy.
Apple is projected to sell 86.4 million iPhones worldwide in 2011 and its iPad is dominating the post-PC world with approximately two-thirds of all tablets sold worldwide. In an interesting twist, court in Australia recently advised the Cupertino, California-headquartered gadget giant to divulge iPad 2 sales figures in the U.S. and U.K. if the Samsung sales blockade is to hold. In a nutshell, judge wants proof that the similarities between Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and iPad 2, which had been first brought to light by Apple, have in fact hurt iPad 2 sales.
Last week Apple successfully banned the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the IFA show in Germany. Samsung will also cease to market that device in the country until its legal dispute with Apple is resolved. Samsung, also Apple’s supplier of memory chips, processors and other components, considers litigation with Apple as “destiny”, their CEO Choi Gee-sung told reporters in Korea last week:
Samsung regards court battles with Apple as destiny. We are clashing with Apple in certain areas. Current situations will make us stronger.
Another company executive noted that “Samsung has no reason to send a ‘goodwill gesture’ to Apple first and therefore it is highly unlikely that Samsung will come to a licensing deal with Apple”. Choi Gee-sung also denied the rumors claiming Samsung was interested in licensing Hewlett-Packard’s webOS software or buying out the computer maker’s ailing PC business, adding acquiring an operating system was “becoming a fashion”.
Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com
- Judge: Apple should reveal iPad 2 sales data to support Galaxy tablet sales ban in Australia (9to5google.com)
- Apple successfully blocks Samsung from showing off Galaxy Tab 7.7 at IFA in Germany (9to5google.com)
- Video testimony in the cards as Apple secures another delay for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia (9to5google.com)
- Sydney Judge advises Apple to divulge iPad 2 sales numbers in U.S. and U.K. (9to5mac.com)
- Samsung claims Apple doctored Galaxy phone images in Netherlands court (9to5mac.com)
- Apple submits more doctored images in Samsung case to courts in Netherlands (9to5google.com)