By George Edwards

Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of intellectual property lawsuits involving Apple Inc. (who, ahem, does not like to be called Apple, Inc.). Apple went after Digital Research and Microsoft during the ’80s and ’90s for copying the “look and feel” of the Macintosh OS. But in the last five years, Apple has initiated a flurry of litigation, commonly known as the mobile device patent wars, that is likely to have profound legal and historical significance.http:

The back-and-forth legal sparring has been largely between Apple and Samsung, with suits over both design and utility patents that have captivated the legal community, investors, and followers of software patent litigation. Below, we highlight some of the important milestones in this high stakes legal tussle.

Click the image for a graphical view of the timeline.

A Timeline of the Apple v. Samsung Patent Saga

April 15, 2011: Apple files complaint in US District Court for the Northern District of California against Samsung for patent infringement of iPhone and iPad. At the heart of the suit are three design patents or trade dress infringements. Apple accuses Samsung of “slavishly” copying their products in a way that was so “pervasive” as to make them indistinguishable from one another.

June 2011: Samsung countersues Apple over infringement of 3G data transfer features and nine other patents in South Korea, Japan, and Germany.

August 9, 2011: Apple wins a design-related preliminary injunction to halt sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union. Samsung appeals.

August 16, 2011: The injunction banning sales ban of Galaxy 10.1 lifted in European Union, but not in Germany.

September 2011: Apple’s injunction upheld in German courts. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales remain halted there. Shortly after, Dutch […]