T-Mobile Sides With Samsung in Battle With Apple

The global fight between Samsung and Apple expanded this morning when it was announced that T-Mobile USA has entered the legal battle on the side of Samsung. In a court filing from Wednesday, September 28, T-Mobile argued against Apple's attempt to block the sale of some Galaxy products in the US. T-Mobile does not appear to be contesting the specifics of Apple's infringement claims against Samsung - the company issued a statement asserting that they "respect intellectual property rights" - however, they called a potential ruling blocking the sale of contested Samsung products a "drastic and extraordinary" measure and argued it would "unnecessarily harm" them and their customers.

Making that case, T-Mobile cited their upcoming holiday advertising which involves copious use of Samsung products (including the Galaxy Tab 10.1), products for which they say they could not locate "comparable replacement products" in time for the 2011 Holiday shopping season. This puts T-Mobile in the same camp as Verizon, who last week made a similar point when they too opposed an attempt to block Samsung sales in the US. Apple remains unmoved by these actions and as in Europe and more recently, Australia, they are pressing forward with their claims.

T-Mobile's show of tepid support for Samsung comes one day after news of Samsung's patent-sharing agreement with Microsoft, itself a blow to Google's Android operating system. Interestingly, AT&T has yet to weigh in on the matter. However, considering that AT&T's attempt to purchase T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom is currently being challenged in courts by the US Justice Department on grounds that the deal would violate U.S. anti-trust law, T-Mobile's insertion into the Apple/Samsung battle has to be seen in that wider context. If one were inclined to irresponsible, conspiratorial speculations, one might be tempted to scan business news for a statement from Samsung that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would in fact be of tremendous benefit to consumers, monopoly laws be damned. But, that would be irresponsible and we disavow any such notion.

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