The ongoing legal spat between Samsung and Apple over the alleged copying of each other’s products has taken a dramatic new turn, with the news that Samsung is now seeking an outright ban on iPhone imports stateside.
The Korean electronics giant has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) calling for an unconditional ban on imports of the iPhone, iPod and the iPad to the US, on the grounds that Cupertino is breach of at least five of Samsung’s precious patents.
Samsung said in a statement: "The complaint requests relief in the form of a permanent exclusion order prohibiting entry to the United States of all Apple products in violation of these patents.”
Apple and Samsung locked legal horns after the former accused the latter of ‘slavishly’ copying the design and technology of its iDevices into the Galaxy line-up. Despite the judge in charge of the proceedings urging the two firms to resolve their differences, it would seem that the enmity has actually escalated.
Samsung is currently one of biggest suppliers of displays and processors for various Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad. It’s entirely possible its latest action is simply a way of bargaining with Apple. Although it could easily backfire as rumours continue to mount that Cupertino is planning to drop Samsung as a manufacturing partner.
Florian Mueller of FOSSpatents told TechEye: "What's at stake here is the future of computing and telecommunications, and patents are a strategic weapon in the war for market share.
“There'll be more of this and we'll still see a lot of smartphone patent litigation next year and probably even beyond.”
He added that while the two companies still benefit from doing business with each other, they "appear to have set very clear priorities, and they may be heading for an ugly divorce".