Samsung says Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling Galaxy phones and tablets

Samsung says Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling Galaxy phones and tablets

Following the injunction Apple won against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus, Samsung claims Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling the enjoined products. According to FOSS Patents, the letters went out on June 28 and July 7 respectively.

Samsung claims that "Apple’s menacing letters greatly overreach, incorrectly claiming that third-party retailers are subject to the prohibitions of the preliminary injunction, which they clearly are not". In Samsung's opinion, "they are permitted to sell their existing inventory, even without a stay". However, both preliminary injunctions clearly relate not only to Samsung's employees, agents etc. (including its subsidiaries and "partners") but also to "those acting in concert with any of them".

Alex Dobie from our Mobile Nations sibling site, Android Central, added:

People close to the matter at Best Buy and Wal-Mart tell us that they've been complying with the order regardless of Apple's aggression. One such source told us, "We had planned to remove the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the shelves the evening the news [of the injunction] broke, and we received word from our district manager to go forward with the plan immediately."

Apple and Samsung have been engaged in a global patent war that would be almost comedic if it weren't so tragic. Ultimately, courts will either invalidate the patents, deny damages, throw cases out, or order one rich company to pay another rich company, but in the meantime fear, uncertainty, and doubt will plague consumers.

As long as the patent office spits out silly patents, and courts provide injunctive relief, and corporations have a duty to shareholders to compete in the market, situations like this will keep occurring, lawyers will keep getting faster cars, and consumers will keep getting caught in the middle.

I've already expressed the opinion that Google, as platform owner, should have done more to prevent and protect Android manufacturers and partners from litigation, and Android Central has provided a ton of sane, balanced coverage as well. There's one point that came up on last week's Android Central podcast, however, that I think deserves some more attention:

That Apple is litigating out of fear of competition.

Apple is most certainly competitive, and litigation and innovation are both competitive tools, but Apple makes such a disproportionate amount of profits in the smartphone space that, despite Android and Samsung's market share, Apple still has limited financial competition in the industry. In tablets, especially when the global market is considered, Apple still has no competition. While that could change, and market share momentum can lead to profit share increases, it would be a mistake to assume Apple's patent and trade-dress claims are merely out of fear for Android's future success.

Rightly or wrongly -- and intelligent adults can engage in civilized discourse over the merits of both arguments -- Apple felt betrayed by Microsoft, a former partner who they see as having ripped them off and denied them their due in the PC era. It's hard not to imagine that hasn't fueled their "thermonuclear" reaction to history repeating itself with Google in mobile.

Because as much as public companies are driven by shareholder value, they're run by people.

Source: FOSS Patents, Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Samsung says Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling Galaxy phones and tablets


This is what happens when Apple is intimidated by a another get product from a competitor. Keep it clean Apple and keep the carriers out of this.

Rene, this is literally the first article you've written that seems unbiased and fair to both sides. I expected you to blindly defend these patent suits, but you called them what they are...silly. And you recognize that consumers of all products only lose in the end.

I applaud you and thank you for a great article. Well done.

That "trade dress" line is a load of BS. The only tablet released to the market to appear similar to any of the iPad models was the TouchPad. That design was known about for 6 months before its release and Apple never made a move to try to prevent it. Apple is trying to attack companies that look like they might pose a threat to their market share using what ever line of bull they think they might be able to get away with rather than just competing on pure merit of their devices.

And we're supposed to believe something that Samsuck says? I'm sure there is more to the story than this.

Nobody is buying these things anyway so whats the difference if they are on the shelves anyway.

Psst.. There isn't. Apple has stepped up and said it is now illegal for vendors to sell certain Samsung products.

This cannot and should not be allowed to happen. It's only one step away from a direct injunction on the consumers. I like my Galaxy Nexus (which doesn't behave anything like an iPhone, I should add), and I'm not keen on some company telling me whether or not I can use it.

If people are truly outraged by this, the only way to get the message across is to hurt Apple's bottom line. I've been a faithful Apple tablet fanboy, owning all three tablets on launch day. The personally just changed overnight.

(And no, I'm not so deluded as to think that this will sway anyone else to do the same.)

Rene, you said that apple "has limited financial competition in the industry"... Well if this is so why does Android capture over 51% of the OS of the mobile market while IOS only captures 34%? This was posted on your sister site Android central a few days ago. ( I know that this represents data only in the US and also only the operating systems not the profits, but one can deduce that greater percentages equal largr revenue for the collective community of Android manufacturers in comparison to apple. Not to mention Samsung IS the number mobile phone manufacturer in the clearly Apple doesnt have limited financial competition. This is clearly out of fear that Android will continue to dominate. Apple has to do what they can to survive even if it means this. Not saying that I agree with it, but I can understand it to a certain degree. Im a Android user and I actually feel good that the competition is feeling despertate :-)

Apple is acting like a paranoid teenage girl. The only reason Apple keeps pushing forward is because of healthy competition.