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Apple Files Design Suit Against Samsung Smartphones in Germany

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Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. filed another suit in Germany, seeking to ban sales of Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones, including the Galaxy S Plus and the S II, extending the global legal dispute between the two companies.

The action targeting 10 smartphone models was filed in the Dusseldorf Regional Court and is based on Apple’s design rights, court spokesman Peter Schuetz said by phone yesterday. Apple also started a separate suit against five Samsung tablet computers related to a September ruling banning the Galaxy 10.1., he said.

The latest cases add to the legal conflict Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in over mobile technologies and designs since the iPhone maker last year accused its South Korean rival of copying products. Samsung, also a chip supplier for Apple, edged out the U.S. company as the top smartphone seller in the third quarter, helped by its Galaxy products.

Nam Ki Yung, a spokesman for Samsung in Seoul, confirmed the suits were filed and said the company has no immediate comment to make on them.

Samsung shares fell as much as 1.4 percent and were 1.2 percent lower at 1,024,000 won as of 12:25 p.m. in Seoul trading. The benchmark Kospi index was down 0.2 percent.

Galaxy Tab

The Dusseldorf court in September upheld a temporary sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung subsequently changed the frame and location of speakers for the product to sell it under a new name, Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

Last month, the court said it is unlikely to grant an injunction against the Tab 10.1N and an appeals court also voiced doubts about the reach of Apple’s European Union design right that won the company the injunction against the Galaxy 10.1. The new suits aren’t filed under emergency proceedings and allow Apple a new procedure against both models.

After making headlines by initially winning the September injunction, the Cupertino, California-based Apple has faced setbacks in its battle against Samsung. In addition to the German litigation, the maker of iPad tablets failed to convince an Australian court on Dec. 9 to reinstate a ban in that country. Both companies also filed patent suits against each other in several European countries.

Samsung has failed to win a sales ban on the iPhone 4S in Italy and France.

The new German cases are LG Dusseldorf, 14c O 293/11 and 14c O 294/11.

To contact the reporters on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net; Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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