Apple-Samsung: getting silly now

We don't know about you, but this spat between Apple and Samsung is beginning to get on our nerves.

The two - the makers of the iPhone and iPad, of course, and the makers of some of the best-selling Android phones like the Galaxy S - have been at legal loggerheads for months now. Apple say (with, we'd have to say, some justification) that Samsung have ripped off their hardware and software designs with recent models, while Samsung say Apple are infringing patents they hold on 3G technology (we've no idea as to the truth of that one).

The result has been a series of legal spats, some really disrupting the activity of the two companies - to the detriment of us consumers, of course. Most amazingly, Apple succeeded in getting Samsung's well-reviewed Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet banned across Europe. An EU judge overturned the Europe-wide ban a few days later, but it remains banned in Germany, Apple having convinced the country's notoriously hardcore copyright court that the design infringes the copyright on the iPad 2.

Even so, though, this takes the mick a bit. This week, right now in fact, Berlin is playing host to IFA, the world's biggest consumer electronics trade show - bigger than the US' CES, though not as famous. Samsung have a big stand there, and have been proudly showing off the Galaxy Tab 7.7, a smaller cousin to the Tab 10.1 and sequel to last year's original 7-in Galaxy Tab.

Now, IFA is in Berlin, and Samsung knew there was a chance the ban on the original Tab 10.1 might be extended to the 7.7, so they decided long ago not to try releasing the 7.7 in Germany. In fact, they stuck stickers on all the demo models saying 'NOT FOR SALE IN GERMANY', which is pretty direct.

Well, guess what? It wasn't good enough for Apple's lawyers. Earlier this week, Apple did indeed apply for - and get - another injunction extending the ban on the Tab 10.1 to its smaller cousin. The next day, yesterday, attendees at IFA were amazed to find all trace of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 had vanished from Samsung's stand. The Korean manufacturer clearly decided - or was told - that even displaying the device in Germany would violate the injunction.

Crikey. This is all getting a bit silly, lads, don't you think? Can't you kiss and make up now?

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