If you’re sick of hearing about Samsung and Apple’s various legal squabbles, spare a thought for Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court.
Hours after rejecting one of Samsung’s many motions against Apple, Mannheim Regional Court held a hearing on a spanking new complaint from the Californians.
This new complaint is specifically targeted at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus; Apple reckons the Android flagship borrows a tad too heavily from its slide-to-unlock feature. We're not entirely sure why the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is particularly at fault, come to think of it. Hmm.
Interestingly (actually, I’m not sure if that’s the right term), this complaint revolves around not a patent but a “utility model”. Me suspects we might start hearing that term a lot more in future.
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents describes a utility model as “an intellectual property right that could be vaguely described as a fast-track patent that comes with various limitations”.
However, the two – patents and utility models – are significantly different enough to allow both to exist in parallel, which of course allows for twice the legal action, yay!
Mannheim Regional Court will come to a decision on March 16. It might make a ruling (if there’s no reasonable doubt), assign an expert or laugh the complaint out of court.