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T-Mobile: Samsung ban really not in the public interest

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T-Mobile USA has joined Verizon Wireless on the Samsung side of the Apple patent suit in the US, which at the moment is looking for a preliminary injunction on selected devices from the Korean firm's factories.

The telco has filed its own amicus brief* with the court, claiming that granting the injunction on Samsung products would not be in the public interest, because it would stop thousands of Americans from getting a shiny new fondleslab for Christmas:

T-Mobile respectfully submits this amicus curiae brief regarding Apple Inc.'s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to inform the Court of public interest considerations implicated by Apple's attempt to preliminarily enjoin sales of Samsung's Galaxy S 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the midst of the critical holiday shopping season. The timing of such an injunction on two popular consumer products that will help anchor its 2011 holiday sales would unnecessarily harm T-Mobile and thousands of US consumers.

The company said it was all geared up for the season already, with its marketing campaigns all prepared and "prominently" featuring the two Samsung devices and it couldn't get back the money it had spent getting ready. T-Mobile also said it didn't have any "adequate replacements" for these products, with the same features at the same price point.

Apple has already retaliated against Verizon Wireless' amicus brief, which had a similar public interest thread to T-Mobile's, saying first off that the federal rules of civil procedure don't allow amicus briefs in district courts. And secondly, even if the court was inclined to set a precedent and accept an amicus brief, it's too late:

Had Verizon submitted its proposed amicus brief in a federal appellate court, however, it would have been untimely by several weeks... an amicus brief should be filed "no later than 7 days after the principal brief of the party being supported".

The Jesus-mobe maker complains that Verizon's brief is coming long after Samsung submitted its opposition to the preliminary injunction and trying to submit it now "is disruptive to Apple's ability to present its positions to the Court in an orderly fashion".

Even if the court decides against all those complaints and still accepts the brief, Apple asked for the right to reply to Verizon on 6 October, a week after it submits its reply brief to Samsung, so that the company would have more time.

Deutsche Telekom, current owner of T-Mobile USA, said it couldn't comment as this was a US story, and Apple did not reply to a request for comment. ®

Bootnote

* An amicus brief is a document filed in court by someone who is not directly related to the case. They're often filed by lobby or advocacy groups that want to make sure the public good or the concerns of a specific group of people are taken into consideration in deciding a case. The phrase derives from amicus curiae, which means 'friend of the court'.

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