Despite rumours that the Samsung Galaxy S3 had been designed by lawyers to avoid the barrage of lawsuits that were directed at the Galaxy S and S2, Apple is once again suing Samsung with the intention of halting the sale of its products in the United States.
Apple had originally sued Samsung over the look and feel of the first two Galaxy S phones, as it claimed that Samsung’s phones copied the iPhone’s curved corners, icon layout and other design features. Even though Samsung has dismissed the rumours that the S3 was designed by lawyers to appease Apple, the company has clearly gone to some lengths to alter the appearance of the S3 and quash any accusations that it is an imitation of Apple’s design.
But even though Samsung listened to Apple’s complaints and made changes regarding trade dress, Apple is hell bent on suing the Korean company once again. This time, Apple does not have a beef with the appearance of the S3 but with the use of “unified search” (S-Voice) and data-tapping features. It is also considering suing over the use of slide to unlock and the autocomplete spell checker features.
Data tapping dialog boxes are not a specific Samsung feature but have been part of Android for a few years, and as such other Android vendors including HTC and Motorola have also come under attack. HTC has already removed the feature from the One X in response to the Apple lawsuits.
When holding down a finger on a phone number in an email or webpage a dialog box appears providing numerous options including dial, add to contacts or copy to clipboard. A similar system is used when selecting URLs on webpages providing the options to open in a new window, copy the link or share the link with others.
The system is used by the new Galaxy S3 as well as almost all HTC phones since the HTC Hero, and Apple is seeking to have them all removed from sale. Apparently, Apple is not contesting the use of this feature but the technical method by which it is implemented, which it claims violates its patent on data-tapping techniques.
While this is part of Apple’s continuing war against Android the company is particularly concerned about the new Samsung phone.
Apple apparently purchased a Galaxy S3 in London during its launch and is currently analysing the phone closely to find other things it can sue Samsung for. Apple’s lawyers were clearly concerned by the popularity of the Galaxy S3, highlighting the record breaking number of pre-orders for the new phone, and as a result highlighting the fact that Apple is clearly worried about the threat the phone poses to iPhone sales.
Samsung has rejected Apple’s demands to postpone the US launch of the Galaxy S3 until a preliminary injunction is brought to court.
Source FOSS Patents