Godzilla - Apple vs Samsung

That sound you heard this morning wasn’t the roar of Godzilla stomping across Japan for the millionth time, but instead it was Apple letting loose its lawyers once again on Samsung.  In what has become at least a weekly event as of late, the Cupertino-based company has filed yet another lawsuit against the Korean manufacturer, and this time they are set to do battle in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan.

According to Reuters, Apple is adding Japan to its growing list of countries where it is taking Samsung to court over patent infringements.  What began with an injunction on sales of devices in Europe, spread to Australia and most recently saw the Galaxy Tab 7.7 pulled from the display floor at IFA in Germany before it even had time to warm its display stand, now sees a lawsuit that foregoes the usual targets, and focuses strictly on the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 7.7.  This is a bit of a change in tactics as the other suits have been more focused strictly on the tablet side of the fight between the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1, but NTT DoCoMo CEO Ryuji Yamada told ComputerWorld today in regards to the launch of Samsung’s flagship tablet later this month,”We have heard from Samsung that there will be no obstruction to sales.”

The first hearing in the lawsuit was heard yesterday in the Tokyo District Court, and Apple is seeking an injunction on sales of both Samsung phone designs as well as the yet-to-be-released Galaxy Tab 7.7.  Beyond the ban on sales they are also seeking damages of 100 million yen (approx. $1.3 million USD), which, due to the low amount, makes me suspect this is more about annoying Samsung than anything.  Yes, they may have a case on the phones, but why go after the smallest version of the Galaxy Tab line as opposed to the 10.1 which courts in other countries have already agreed violates Apple’s patents?  True, those other rulings should have no impact on what happens in Japan, but isn’t it going to be a bit more difficult to prove potential consumer confusion between a 9.7-inch device and a 7.7-inch device?

Whatever the reasoning is behind Apple’s targets in this version of their ongoing fight with Samsung, I think we can rest assured that this is not the last of these lawsuits we’re going to hear about.

[via Reuters]