Apple Seeks to Block Sales of Samsung’s New Galaxy Phone
Apple Inc. (AAPL) sought to block sales of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s latest Galaxy smartphones in the U.S., deepening their worldwide patent dispute and raising pressure on the maker of the biggest iPhone competitor.
Apple asked a federal judge in San Jose, California, to include the Galaxy S III in its request to block sales of Samsung products in the U.S., according to a June 5 filing by the Cupertino, California-based company. The Samsung phone will go on sale in the U.S. this month after the U.K. release in May, Apple said.
The filing reflects the failure of court-ordered talks between Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his Samsung counterpart Choi Gee Sung last month. The world’s two biggest makers of high-end phones have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are fighting patent battles in four continents to retain their dominance in the $219 billion global smartphone market.
“I don’t think Apple will succeed,” James Song, a Seoul- based analyst at Daewoo Securities Co., said by phone. “Smartphones aren’t uniquely Apple’s products any more. It won’t be easy to find convincing reasons to block sales.”
Samsung shares rose 5.2 percent, the most in more than six months, to 1,265,000 won at the close of trading in Seoul today. The benchmark Kospi index gained 2.6 percent. The stock has climbed 20 percent this year compared with Apple’s 41 percent jump in New York trading.
Apple’s request is without merit and Samsung will start selling the Galaxy S III in the U.S as planned, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a statement today. Samsung was set to release the model in the U.S. through five carriers, Chris Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for the company said by phone, declining to say when sales were scheduled to begin.
Samsung released the Galaxy S III in the U.K. on May 29 and U.S. carriers have announced they will start selling the smartphone in the U.S. on June 21, Apple said in the filing, saying it obtained the product in the U.K.
Apple “determined that this device clearly infringes at least two of the Apple patents at issue” for “the exact same reasons” it infringes earlier versions of the smartphone, the iPhone maker said.
Samsung last month began marketing the Galaxy S III in London, with such features as voice-command options and an eye sensor that prevents the screen from dimming.
The Galaxy products helped Samsung regain the lead in the global smartphone market from Apple in the first quarter. Samsung has sold 24 million units of the first Galaxy S model since its debut in June 2010 and 28 million Galaxy S II phones in 13 months, Samsung said this month.
More Than 30 Cases
The June 5 filing was made in a companion suit related to Apple’s first patent infringement case filed against Samsung in federal court in San Jose. In the primary case, Judge Lucy Koh last week denied Apple’s renewed request for a ban on U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer while the case is still before a federal court of appeals.
Samsung and Apple have been involved in more than 30 cases on four continents since the iPhone maker accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its products in April last year to expand its patent battle against rival phone makers. Even as they fight in court, Apple remains the biggest buyer of Samsung’s chips and displays.
This week, Apple also filed an enforcement action at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking an emergency order that would block imports of HTC Corp.’s (2498) newest phones and tablet computers.
Apple has been able to force Samsung to delay the release or alter its Galaxy products in some countries, including Australia and the Netherlands, while elsewhere, it hasn’t been as successful.
The case involving the June 5 filing is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.,12-cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). The first case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).