US telcos line up against Apple in Samsung lawsuit

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US telcos line up against Apple in Samsung lawsuit

T-Mobile, Verizon want Galaxy Tabs.

T-Mobile USA has become the latest mobile provider opposing Apple's bid to stop Samsung Electronics from selling some Galaxy products in the United States, according to a court filing.

Apple has taken court action against Samsung in a number of jurisdictions, including Australia, in a bid to prevent the Korean company from selling certain lines of its tablet computers that Apple claims infringe its patents for the iPad 2.

The move by T-Mobile follows a similar position taken last week by Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile is the fourth largest U.S. mobile service, while Verizon is the biggest.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The legal battle between Apple and Samsung has been building since April, when Apple sued Samsung in a California federal court for infringing its intellectual property rights.

Apple claims the South Korean firm's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad.

Apple has asked a judge to issue an injunction that would prevent Samsung from selling some Galaxy products. A hearing on the injunction request is scheduled for October 13.

An order against Samsung would "unnecessarily harm" T-Mobile and its customers, T-Mobile said in a court filing on Wednesday.

"At this late date, T-Mobile could not find comparable replacement products for the 2011 holiday season," the company argued.

T-Mobile's marketing campaigns for 2011 "prominently feature" the Galaxy S 4G phone and Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the company has also ordered holiday inventory, it said in the filing.

"These investments cannot be recouped easily," the company said.

T-Mobile representatives did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. Earlier this week, Verizon said that disputes involving intellectual property should not interfere with the free flow of the newest 4G devices.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom.

(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco and Sinead Carew in New York, editing by Bernard Orr).

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