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Apple Sues Samsung Over Galaxy; Are Other Tablet Makers Next?

In a patent suit filed Friday, Apple claims that Samsung’s line of Galaxy tablets and phones willfully infringe on its own patents. Apple is seeking injunctions as well as actual and punitive damages.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which runs on Android, was released late last year. Apple claims the tab infringes on iPad patents and that the Galaxy S looks and feels a little too similar to the iPhone.

The lawsuit doesn’t detail the damages it is seeking, but it also doesn’t pull any punches. A sample: “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.”

That kind of language suggests Apple may ask the courts to pull the Samsung Galaxy products from the shelves. And given that the Galaxy Tab is not dissimilar to other Android devices, such as the Motorola Xoom, this may be the beginning of a concerted effort to hobble the iPad’s competitors for what Apple sees as infringement.

“This kind of blatant copying is wrong,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet added in a statement. “We need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

We will update with more details from the lawsuit as they come in. What do you think? Does the Galaxy Tab copy Apple’s technology? Are there features that make it more similar to the iPad than other Android tablets? Let us know in the comments.

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