Samsung Bolsters Fight to Toss Apple Suit

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – Apple is using antitrust counterclaims to distract from a motion to dismiss its pending trademark suit, Samsung Electronics says.
     In an April complaint, Apple claimed that its Korean competitor copied the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone to make the Galaxy cellphones and computer tablets.
     Among a parade of filings, Apple moved to enjoin Samsung from selling its new products and Samsung blasted antitrust counterclaims while supporting an August motion to dismiss.
     Apple opposed Samsung’s motion to dismiss in a brief filed last week that claimed Samsung had violated the rules of standard-setting organizations by hiding its intellectual property rights at the same time it was “aggressively lobbying” the Electronic Telecommunications Standards Institute.
     The institute is a standard-setting organization that works to establish specified electronic communication technologies with industry members.
     Samsung’s reply brief, filed Tuesday, says Apple only resorted to claims that Samsung violated competition laws “as a strategic ploy, and not out of any legitimate interest in competition.”
     Apple may be suffering harm amid competition from a successful rival, but not because of restricted competition, the brief says.
     “Apple has not identified any facts supporting its naked assertions of anticompetitive harm, concerted action, and unfair competition,” according to the Samsung brief authored by Victoria Maroulis of the San Francisco law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. “Apple’s pleadings offer nothing but vague allegations that Apple has been harmed through loss of customers, loss of revenue, and other personalized harms.”
     The brief also says that “harms such as loss of profits, loss of customers, and loss of goodwill are all effects that Apple would suffer from a superior competitor, and do not themselves indicate harm to competition.”
     Apple sued Samsung in federal court for trademark and trade-dress infringement, claiming that Galaxy phones and computer tablets are confusingly similar to Apple products, and that the products use icons similar to those used by Apple.
     But Samsung says that “Apple fails to plead the necessary facts to permit the factfinder to reasonably infer that Samsung’s alleged conduct had anticompetitive effects or caused anticompetitive injury to Apple.”
     Maroulis also said Apple failed to provide an example of the concerted action needed for a Sherman Act antitrust claim. Under Apple’s interpretation of the act, “standard-setting organizations … could nonetheless incur liability for the anticompetitive conduct of a single member in violation of the organization’s policies,” the brief states.
     Two Samsung subsidiaries, Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Telecommunications America, are also named as defendants.
     Harold McElhinny, Michael Jacobs, Jason Bartlett and Grant Kim with Morrison & Foerster represent Apple.

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