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The patents war between Samsung and Apple has been waging in many theatres for many moons. Whilst we will attempt to avoid a lot of the technical jargon involved in these claims, here’s a brief first-months’ outline of the back-and-forth ping pong patents match between these two mobile device manufacturers.

April 18, 2011: Apple filed suit in California against Samsung for multiple violations of Trade Dress violations: Apple contended that Samsung incorporated into its design large screens and black screen borders which made Samsung devices look like an iPhone. Apple also alleged that Samsung packaged their devices in an identical box-and-tray configuration that was identical to Apple’s, both, claimed Apple, led the consumer to believe the device was an iPhone and not one of Samsung’s.

One aspect in this suit involved the allegedly similar designs of apps icons. At a glance, Apple may have had a degree of righteous indignation on at least most of the seven icons listed.

Lots of technical patents were also mentioned.

April 21, 2011: Samsung announced a 10-patent counter-suit campaign against Apple in Korea, Germany and Japan. According to Reuters, the patents involved

“power reduction during data transmission, 3G technology for reducing errors during data transmission”

…and more. This initiated the UMTS/W-CDMA 3G issue with Samsung.

April 28, 2011: Samsung filed the same 10-patent lawsuit against Apple in California.

May 27, 2011: Samsung shocked the industry by requesting copies of the yet-unreleased iPhone 5 and the iPad 3, stating those devices and Samsung’s would hit the market around the same time, and they wanted to examine the devices for potential and alleged patent violations from or in their own devices. The motion may have been inspired by the court previously ordering Samsung to turn over copies of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a few other devices. The difference in the earlier court order and Samsung’s motion rests in public knowledge: Samsung had already disclosed the products publicly whilst Apple had – and has – not.

June 22, 2011: The court denied Samsung’s disclosure request. No real surprise there; there’s a big difference between “in the public knowledge domain” and “closely guarded secrets.”

We will continue the patent war chronology of major events and rulings after a short break. We don’t know about you, but we could use one!