If you ever wondered who Apple consider its biggest rival the answer probably lies in the dutch judicial system with an injunction the company has brought against Samsung.
In the documents reported on today by Cnet, Apple is trying to ban, so it would seem, every Samsung smartphone and tablet product including the Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S, Galaxy SII smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 and 10.1 tablets.
The complaint demands that Samsung also recall all unsold stock from resellers in the country "within 14 days" because that stock is infringing Apple's intellectual property. In the suit Apple say...
"For the record, we mention the fact that by the stock, the offering and/or selling said Galaxy smartphones [and tablets, red], infringes the intellectual property of Apple Inc.,"
Cnet asked Samsung for a statement and they replied...
Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business."
Earlier in the month Apple was granted a preliminary injunction in Germany banning the sale of the Galaxy tab 10.1 across almost the whole of the European Union. That sales ban was lifted this week. The current ruling allows sales to continue until Samsung and Apple meet in court on August 25th.
The source of the problem appears to be Google's Android operating system, which Microsoft has also taken issue with over patents. Google appeared to be in such a rush to get Android out of the door that they allegedly trampled on a few patents owned by their competitors. However the actual evidence of this is embroiled in legal complications.
Whatever the current situation it is becoming clear that consumers are growing tired of the endless patent battles between the big technology companies over smartphones and tablets. What consumers want is choice and a good selection of quality products. It's very clear that patent squabbles are fuelled by nothing more complicated than money, profit and shareholders dividend payments. These are things the average man and woman on the street care little about.
There have been discussions previously about the physical resemblance of some Samsung Galaxy phones to the iPhone, though let's be honest there are only so many shapes and styles a phone can be, and there are only so many materials they can be made from and so many factories equipped to do so.
It is inevitable therefore that some smartphones and tablets will go on sale looking and operating very similarly to one another. This again isn't something that consumers care about.
Ultimately Apple, who some commentators have been reporting for a couple of years seems to be heading down a course that will lead them into anti-trust battles with the US government and the EU, don't seem to care about anything other than the consumer getting an Apple product. The fact that there are more than enough consumers of technology on the planet to keep all the major shareholders in the big technology companies in absolute luxury seems to be unimportant.
At the moment the question probably needs to be asked if the gentle art of "Patent Tennis", whereby technology companies lawyers justify their ludicrous salaries by constantly throwing lawsuits back and forth, isn't getting out of hand. Android is a major target at the moment with Microsoft already collecting a $10 'patent tax' on every unit sold. The only losers in all of this will be Google's Android operating system and the people who want to use it.
Make no mistake the big guns have got it in for the open-source upstart, and they seem determined to destroy Android at whatever the cost.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.