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Quick guide to Apple and Samsung's global patent war

10 Aug 2012
Apple iPad

Apple and Samsung began their global patent war in in July 2011 when the iPhone maker accused the Korean giant of "slavishly copying" Apple iPad designs with its Galaxy tablets.

After Samsung responded to the accusation with its own slew of patent infringement claims, the legal war has escalated and the two are now embroiled in 50 patent lawsuits across 10 countries.

With there no sign of the tit-for-tat argument coming to an end anytime soon and both companies scoring victories in key battlegrounds, keeping track of what's going on is difficult at the best of times, but here V3 has compiled a comprehensive guide to help.

United States
The US is the most important battle ground in Samsung and Apple's global war, being one of the largest consumer markets in the world. Apple's even gone so far as to claim Samsung's copycat strategy has cost it a massive $2.52bn worth of damages in the territory.

Samsung and Apple have both filed complaints with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the US International Trade Commission and the US District Court for the District of Delaware.nyse

The District Court for the Northern District of California case kicked off earlier in July after Samsung and Apple failed to reach an out of court settlement.

The lawsuits have seen Apple claiming that Samsung deliberately copied the iPhone and iPad in its smartphones and tablets, and Samsung counter claiming Apple infringed some of its own technology patents.

To date, Apple has successfully won injunctions with the US International Trade Commission blocking the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

The case is currently being heard by the District Court for the Northern District of California with the nine-person jury expected to issue their ruling before the year's end.


The Australian Apple vs Samsung trial began on 23 July, when a Federal Court of Australia judge began hearing evidence examining whether the iPhone infringes on three patents held by Samsung relating to wireless transmission technology.

However, despite forecast to last three months, the case may end sooner rather than later, as the judge overseeing the case described the squabble as "ridiculous" and recommended the two settle the case out of course in mediation.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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