Apple Sues Samsung Over Shameless Smart Cover Rip-Off

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The courtroom battles between Apple and Samsung seem never-ending. The latest chapter: Apple now claims its South Korean patent pal is copying not just smartphones and tablets, but also their cases. During an Australian court hearing, Samsung’s lawyer said Apple believes the cases infringe 10 patents.


The latest claims by Apple in Australia follow Samsung adding four new patent infringement claims against the iPad maker in Germany. Those allegations even involve charges Apple infringed on patented emoticons. Like a game of ping-pong, the two companies jump from Australia to Germany, trading charge and counter-charge. So far, the two have filed more than 30 lawsuits against each other, one firm estimates.

But back to the covers. Although Apple hasn’t detailed its complaint against Samsung, a possible motive could be a smart cover look-alike that was “Samsung certified” back in July. The Galaxy Tab tablet cover was sold in Samsung’s South Korean stores and created by Anymode. Anymode is owned by Youngbo Engineering, headed by the nephew of Samsung chairperson Kun-Hee Lee, according to 9to5Mac. Samsung reportedly yanked the product, saying the certification was “an oversight.” Do you smell burning pants?

At any rate, fresh from a Dec. 9 court win removing a temporary Australian sales injunction, Samsung is pushing for Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett to decide the company’s patent infringement lawsuit against Apple’s iPhone and iPad 2 by March. Why March? A German court also handling a Samsung lawsuit against Apple is expected to rule in March. Depending on how things go, having two judgements the same month could either give Samsung a one-two punch against Apple or serve as a distraction should the smartphone maker lose.

But Apple is fighting such a tactic, asking for a delay. Bennett appears to be siding with Apple’s argument, setting another hearing for February 3. Of course, that is enough time for many more patent-infringement claims to be filed in what’s become a globe-trotting legal epic — and one likely to buy the lawyers involved a few private islands in the Med.