Apple has sent a letter threatening legal action against US retailers and phone carriers who continue to sell Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, in the latest chapter of the ongoing smartphone patent wars between the two companies.
Earlier this month, Apple won injunctions against Samsung selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the US in a series of patent lawsuits. Samsung later won a temporary stay on the Galaxy Nexus injunction after Google issued a special Android patch that prevents Galaxy Nexus users from searching for files on their own smartphone.
Despite the ruling, some retailers and carriers have continued parallel imports of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from overseas markets, or continued sales of pre-existing inventories.
In a letter obtained by the FOSS Patents blog, Apple states:
“The [injunction] order applies not only to the named Samsung entities, but also to anyone ‘acting in concert’ with them. Apple thus believes that the order extends to you because you may be selling, offering to sell, or importing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.”
“Please comply with the order by ceasing immediately to engage in any of the specified acts (e.g., importing, offering to sell, or selling within the United States) in connection with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer and any product that is no more than colourably different from it and embodies the ‘889 patent’s design.”
“At a minimum, Apple believes compliance with the Court’s order requires immediately removing for sale the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from all physical and online venues under your direction or control.”
Samsung responded to Apple’s letter, stating:
“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. [Samsung believes] they are permitted to sell their existing inventory, even without a stay.”