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T-Mobile fights injunction in Samsung, Apple Android suit

Thu, 09/29/2011 - 8:00am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

T-Mobile USA became the second carrier in a week to come to Samsung's defense in its legal fight with Apple over patents used in Android-based smartphones.

T-Mobile asked the court to hold off on a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, arguing a ban on the devices ahead of the holiday shopping season would hurt its business. T-Mobile plans to put the two Android-based devices at the top of its holiday lineup.

"An injunction, particularly in the midst of the holiday sales season, would unnecessarily harm T-Mobile and its customers," the operator wrote in an amicus brief filed Wednesday with a Northern California District Court. "Accordingly, the public interest heavily weighs against granting Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction."

T-Mobile said there were no immediately available replacements for the devices and claimed it would take "nearly a year" to develop a comparable product with a different supplier.

Apple has asked the court to grant a preliminary injunction against four Samsung devices: the Galaxy S 4G, the Infuse 4G, the Droid Charge and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The suit is one of a number of complaints in Apple and Samsung's intellectual property battle over Android, which is said to span 10 countries since it began in April.

T-Mobile's plea is similar to a brief filed by Verizon Wireless last Friday. Verizon argued that an injunction against Samsung's devices was not in the public interest because it would harm consumers and deter customers from signing up for its new LTE service.

"The proposed injunction would disproportionately affect the very devices that are most critical to adoption and expansion of Verizon Wireless' next-generation network," Verizon wrote.

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