Apple tries to stop US sales of Samsung's Galaxy S III

Apple claims the smartphone infringes on at least two of its patents

Apple has asked a court in California for a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone, ahead of its U.S. launch, claiming the device infringes at least two of its patents.

Samsung said earlier this month that the Galaxy S III will be available in the U.S. starting this month from five carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular. The smartphone was launched in May in the U.K.

Apple obtained the Galaxy S III sold in the U.K., and found that it infringes at least two of four Apple patents at issue in a preliminary injunction motion filed by the company against the earlier Galaxy Nexus, Apple said in a filing on Tuesday before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division.

These are U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 relating to an universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system, and Patent No. 5,946,647 regarding a system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data.

"Given the extent to which the Galaxy S III infringes and will cause immediate and irreparable harm to Apple, it is imperative that this Court have an opportunity to consider and rule upon Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction before the Galaxy S III is launched in the United States," Apple said in a filing while adding to its original complaint against the Galaxy Nexus.

Apple said it requested Samsung to confirm that it would not launch the Galaxy S III in the U.S. until the court has had an opportunity to consider and rule on Apple's motion for preliminary injunction. Samsung refused, stating that Apple's pending preliminary injunction motion will have no bearing on the release date of the Galaxy S III, Apple said.

It is too late to add new products to the pending motion for a preliminary injunction, Samsung said in its opposition to Apple's motion on Wednesday. Apple has not provided an explanation for waiting until the eve of the hearing on the motion to enjoin a new product when Samsung will have no opportunity to investigate the issues or to prepare a response, it added.

A hearing on Apple's motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for Thursday.

Apple's motion to supplement rests on the flawed premise that the two Samsung smartphones are fungible and thus no discovery or briefing about the product it seeks to enjoin is necessary, Samsung said in its filing.

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John Ribeiro

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