Apple sues Samsung for patent infringement over Galaxy line

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sued Samsung for patent infringement, claiming that some of Samsung's smartphones and its GalaxyTab tablets infringe on Apple's patents and trademarks, in the latest round of legal sparring between mobile companies.

Apple filed its suit Friday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and alleged that Samsung had "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G and Nexus S smartphones, as well as the GalaxyTab, all of which use Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform.

"Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products," the lawsuit said. Apple said it is seeking injunctions, actual damages, punitive damages and a finding that the alleged infringement was willful.

"Samsung's development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success," Samsung said in a statement. "Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property."

The lawsuit is somewhat more contentious than similar ones Apple has filed against Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and HTC, since Samsung produces chipsets found in the iPhone and iPad. 

In a somewhat related move, the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended that Nokia and HTC should not be found to have infringed on Apple's patents. There are multiple ongoing cases between the companies before the ITC, which can block the importation of products that violate U.S. patents. The staff's recommendations are not binding.

The Apple-HTC dispute is of particular note because it is widely seen as a proxy fight between Apple and Google over Android. The judge in the case is expected to release his findings Aug. 5, and his order will be subject to review by the six-member ITC.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this Bloomberg article

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Article updated April 19 with comment from Samsung.