Bloomberg News

T-Mobile Joins Samsung in Bid to Block Apple Patent Claims

September 28, 2011

(Updates with Apple spokeswoman in seventh paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA Inc. joined Samsung Electronics Co. in fighting a lawsuit filed by Apple Inc., claiming consumers will be hurt if Apple is granted an order blocking the sale of Samsung products.

The iPad maker, in its lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose, California, seeks an order blocking Samsung from selling its Galaxy line of mobile devices products that it claims violate Apple patents. T-Mobile isn’t a defendant.

In a court filing today, T-Mobile argues that its smartphones include devices manufactured by Samsung, and that there are “public interest considerations” in Apple’s attempt to block sales of Samsung’s S 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet “in the midst of the critical holiday shopping season.”

“The timing of such an injunction on two popular consumer products that will help anchor its 2011 holiday sales would unnecessarily harm T-Mobile and thousands of U.S. consumers,” T-Mobile said in the filing. Money damages would remedy any harm Apple is able to prove between now and trial in the case, scheduled for July, T-Mobile said.

The legal battle between Apple and rival smartphone makers is intensifying as an increasing number of consumers use smart phones and wireless handsets to surf the Web, play games and download music and videos. Samsung and Apple have been involved in lawsuits around the globe since Apple in April claimed in the San Jose lawsuit that the Korean company’s Galaxy devices copied the iPhone and iPad.

Samsung, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones, has filed similar patent infringement suits against Cupertino, California-based Apple in the Netherlands.

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in an interview. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-1846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha in San Francisco at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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