Apple filed an injunction against Samsung, asking the company to halt production of four of its devices, as the two companies escalate their ongoing courtroom battle.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claims Samsung violates four of its patents in the design of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G, Infuse 4G, Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. With the injunction, Apple aims to prevent the South Korean handset maker from importing these devices in the U.S.
Apple, which Samsung designed its devices to mimic the iPhone and iPad, alleges Samsung did this purposely to confuse consumers into purchasing their devices.
“The message that Samsung conveys to consumers with its imitative smartphone design is simple: ‘It’s just like an iPhone,'” Apple’s claim read. “Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet sends a similar message: ‘It’s just like an iPad.'”
Samsung denied claims it copied Apple designs and said it will continue to sell its devices unless legally prevented from doing so.
“Samsung believes there is no legal basis for this motion,” said the company in a statement. “We will continue to serve our customers, and sales of Samsung products will proceed as usual. Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business.”
Apple’s claim could have widespread implications for both companies, depending on how the court rules.
If Apple is able to win the injunction, Samsung would have to cease production on its four most popular devices on the market. Samsung may choose to completely re-design the smartphones and tablet, an expensive process that may potentially hurt Samsung’s reputation.
If the court denies the claim, it may create the impression Apple is making unreasonable demands, potentially weakening similar claims against other companies in the future.
Apple may also be using the injunction to force Samsung into settling outside of court. Though Samsung may want to fight Apple’s claim, the possibility that a court could ban several of its premiere devices is a risk the company doesn’t want to take.
Samsung and Apple have been trading legal blows since April, when Apple originally claimed Samsung’s devices copied Apple’s. Samsung retaliated with the same lawsuit in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.
Samsung made similar moves against Apple, attempting to ban the iPhone and iPad in the U.S. because it believes Apple copied its designs. Both companies have also attempted to deny early access for the other company to see its rival devices as part of the legal process; Apple’s legal team was granted a preview of Samsung’s devices, but Samsung was denied similar access.
The injunction decision could greatly affect the mobile landscape. If Apple wins its injunction, one of its largest competitors will take a big hit in sales and be forced to completely redesign its devices. If Apple loses, it may indicate a potential weakness of Apple’s suit. But the legal saga will likely continue between the two companies as the stakes of the increasingly competitive mobile market grow higher.