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The “iPad Killer” is Dead: US Court Bans Sales of Samsung Tablet
Apple and Samsung have been at each other's throats for months now, battling out several patent disputes in courts all over the world. They've been pointing fingers over several hardware and software issues, with each company declaring the other stole their design or manufacturing. It's been a seesaw battle the entire time, but with a judgment coming down from one United States court, it seems that Apple has struck a decisive blow. US district Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung had to pull one of its Galaxy tablets off the market, claiming it was practically exactly the same as Apple's iPad. There have been other rulings swinging the upper hand from one company to the other, but this is the first time general consumers will actually be affected by one of the rulings. In the other cases, the courts ruled that the devices in question would be allowed to stay on the market while Apple and Samsung continued to battle out all of their patent claims. There have been a couple of instances where licensing deals were struck, with one company paying the other millions of dollars to make sure that all the products in question could sell to consumers. But Judge Koh dropped the hammer on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, telling the technology giant that they had to pull it off shelves across the United States. She allowed that Samsung must be given the chance to compete with Apple, but still felt the Galaxy tablet was a real patent infringement on Apple's iPad, making it an unfair competition. Samsung was less than pleased with the ruling, and declared they would appeal the decision. Their argument is that Apple's suit against them addressed just one patented design involved in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and not the device. They feel that if Apple is allowed to get products pulled off the market based on such generic claims, it could restrict overall innovation within the industry. According to Samsung, the patent Apple claims had been breached involved the simple design of the iPad, but they suggest that you can't declare the design of a thin computer with a large screen to be unique. But for now, the ruling will stand. Stores that have stock of the Galaxy Tab in question will be allowed to sell out of what they have, and the next version of the device, just released in May, will also stay on the shelves. Regardless of how the appeal goes, this ruling will certainly bolster Apple's current domination of the tablet market. In the first quarter of 2012, Apple sold well over thirteen million iPads. That adds up to more than 60% of the worldwide market for tablets. Samsung trails far behind, tallying around 7.5% of the market. And with tablet sales expected to almost double this year, it's clear that whichever company rules the tablet market rules the PC market. Court cases will continue on both sides into the foreseeable future. A single tablet product release could involve hundreds of individual patents, involving everything from the user interface to the microchip design. So when you're contemplating whether to buy the insurance cover for iPad, think of all the individual patented elements, and you'll know it's more than worth the monthly fee.