Apple filed documents with the International Trade Commission on Wednesday opposing Samsung's motion to strike what it called "highly inconvenient facts" in their mobile device patent infringement fight. The company went on to say that Samsung should drop its iPhone and iPad injunction request because the arguments used to support the ban contradict a similar case in Europe.
Apple calls Samsung's US and EU patent arguments contradictory
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents said,
Apple seizes this opportunity to reinforce the points it wants to drive home, which it says are 'highly inconvenient facts' to Samsung: the withdrawal of its European SEP-based injunction requests; the fact that Samsung stated publicly that it was 'in the interest of protecting consumer choice;' and the fact that the European Commission nevertheless issued a Statement of Objections and held in its preliminary ruling that Samsung's pursuit of injunctive relief against Apple, a willing licensee, was anticompetitive.
Apple's ITC filing stated, "Samsung ignores Samsung's own public statement admitting that its injunction withdrawals in Europe served the interests of consumers. This admission creates a clear and irreconcilable conflict between Samsung's statements in Europe and its statements to the ITC."
Samsung withdrew its requests for injunctions blocking the sale of Apple products in Europe in early December 2012, claiming the decision would be best for consumers. The electronics maker was assumed to actually have dropped its ban request in hopes of avoiding legal headaches with the EU over standards essential-based abuse -- a move that failed because the EU moved forward with antitrust charges.
Samsung's decision to tie its patent licensing dispute with Apple to standards essential patents put the company in an awkward position since it now is using arguments it dropped in Europe to support its fight in the United States. Mr. Mueller summed up Samsung's dilemma saying, "It doesn't make sense to pretend to protect consumer choice in one jurisdiction (Europe) -- only because of regulatory pressure -- but to continue to push for SEP-based injunctions elsewhere, particularly in the United States."
Samsung could drop its ITC injunction request and continue pursuing the rest of its legal case, just as it did in Europe, but for now the company isn't commenting on its plans.