Samsung Confirms Ready to Sue Over Unannounced iPhone

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Samsung executives confirmed on Monday that the company plans to sue Apple for patent infringement after the new iPhone model is announced. The new model is expected to be unveiled at a media event this Wednesday, and Samsung is ready to take Apple to court over the iPhone's rumored LTE support.

Samsung says it's ready to sue over LTE features in the new iPhoneSamsung says it's ready to sue over LTE features in the new iPhone

"It's true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States -- Apple's home-turf -- are our primary targets," a company executive told The Korea Times.

Samsung made the statement after South Korea's SK Telecom said that it struck a deal with Apple to carry what it called "the much speedier new iPhone" on its network.

Samsung has already said it would hit Apple with a patent infringement lawsuit if the company released any LTE-compatible devices. That hasn't yet happened, however, even though the third generation iPad shipped months ago with support for LTE wireless data networks in the United States and Canada.

So far Samsung hasn't had the best of luck in its legal fights with Apple. The electronics maker recently lost a case in the U.S. where a jury ruled it infringed on several Apple mobile device patents and hit the company with a fine topping US$1 billion. In that same trial, the jury ruled Apple wasn't infringing on Samsung's patents.

Apple has been collecting LTE-related patents over the past year, presumably to help protect from infringement lawsuits from companies like Samsung. So far, the company has 434 LTE patents under its control, and those could come into play if Samsung follows through with its lawsuit threat.

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Comments

Jamie

Pft. Whatever. I think that’s all the dignity it warrants. wink

geoduck

Considering Samsung already got tossed out in the US, and I believe elsewhere for trying to abuse FRAND patents I don’t see this going too far.

ClaytonK

So, does Samsung believe they have a patent on LTE in general?  Or are they just assuming that Apple’s implementation will use their inventions?

mrmwebmax

+

The Mac Observer Spin
Maybe if Samsung wanted to take down Apple over LTE-related patents it should’ve filed a lawsuit when the iPad with Retina Display was announced.

I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll put this to the legal experts here: Can the fact that Samsung did not sue Apple over the iPad with Retina display and LTE hurt their case against the iPhone 5? I’d seem to think that somehow, yes it can…perhaps analogous to not defending a trademark in one case while going after another?

Again, that’s for the legal experts here to weigh in on.

Terrin

No mrmwebmax:

The fact Samsung didn’t sue over the iPad will not hurt it in suing Apple over the iPhone for the same patents. When you own something and somebody allegedly misappropriates your property you do not have to take action. You can elect to do so or elect not to do so.

Samsung, however,  will still have the same problem it has previously had. Namely, it will be hard to get an injunction (the ultimate goal) over its LTE patents because it pledged them to the standards setting body. It has to let Apple use them and the only remaining issue is how much money does Apple have to pay.

In the US case, the jury found Apple didn’t have to pay Samsung anything because Intel paid the licensing fee for Apple.

mrmwebmax

+

Thanks, Terrin. That all makes sense.

Peter Connolly

This isn’t about LTE or Tablets, it’s about being first to market with an LTE Touchscreen Smartphone—and again the threatened action is a cheap copy of Apple’s legitimate Court offerings.

LTE is industry-essential and therefore covered under FRAND (Fair and Reasonable) Licensing Agreement. Further, Apple doesn’t make its own com-chips, but uses third-party offerings, which have already licensed the tech, and pass on the license and its fee in the chips and their cost of supply. This was a point settled in Apple’s recent win over Samsung, when as part of its counter-claim the latter tried to sue Apple for using such third-party chips.

The only other relevant claim I can find that Samsung has, is that its Galaxy Indulge (Feb, 2011) was the first North American smartphone to offer LTE, so it seems likely that it’s planning to sue Apple for copying the idea of making a Smartphone LTE capable, and would therefore be seeking an injunction to prevent the iPhone 5’s US import. Like that’s going fly.

The only possible negative outcome would be a stay of import until the case is heard and once heard, the ban would be lifted, because it’s an unsustainable (stupid) premise. That said, Apple would immediately appeal and such a temporary ban would almost certainly be lifted shortly after it was applied. In all likelihood it’s just so stupid, it would be thrown out as a waste of the Court’s time.

On the other hand, Apple has successfully gained such injunctions against Samsung for the importation of some of its devices into Australia and Europe, for patent breaches, pending trial outcome (the Australian ban was subsequently lifted on Samsung’s appeal). But there’s a difference between FRAND Licences and Privately owned and patented IP, as Samsung recently found in its spectacular US loss to Apple.

During this whole affair, Samsung has been saying and doing some naively stupid things. It makes one question whether its senior management gives evidence that they are culturally present in person time and place. At best it looks more like the dynamics of the Eastern cultural practice of ‘saving face’, and at worst, the bully-boy tactics of a company noted for its huge domestic political leverage and the history of its past-CEO maintaining a slush-fund to corrupt South Korean officials—neither of which is appropriate under a Western Legal system.

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