UK Court Invalidates Samsung Patents in Fight with Apple

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Samsung suffered another blow in its patent infringement fight with Apple on Thursday when a U.K Judge ruled three of the electronics maker's 3G standard essential patents are invalid. The patents in question described a system for sending and receiving data over 3G wireless networks -- something Apple's iPhone and all other smartphones do.

UK court invalidates Samsung patents in fight with AppleUK court invalidates Samsung patents in fight with Apple

Justice Floyd from the Chancery Division in the High Court of England and Wales made the ruling, shooting down yet another line of attack in ongoing sting of patent infringement lawsuits between Apple and Samsung. The ruling also counts as yet another loss for Samsung, which is in line with the company's overall track record against Apple.

"Samsung has now officially failed to prevail on 25 standard-essential patent assertions against Apple, including eight patents it withdrew and one case that was stayed in Germany because the patent was deemed likely to be invalid," said Florian Mueller of Foss Patents. "Last week Samsung lost its 22nd SEP assertion against Apple [in Japan]. Samsung has prevailed on only three of its SEPs: two in Korea, one in the Netherlands."

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over mobile device patent infringement claims in courts around the world for two years, and so far Apple looks to be the bigger winner in those cases. Apple won a high profile case in the United States in 2012 where a Federal Court Jury ruled Samsung infringed on several of its patents and awarded the iPhone and iPad maker over US$1 billion in damages.

Judge Lucy Koh, who has been overseeing the case, recently tossed out $450.5 million from that damages award and ruled a new trial must be conducted to determine what the damages award should be for that portion. The remaining part of the $1 billion award still stands.

Samsung has been pushing for a 2.4 percent royalty on all iPhone sales, which Mr. Mueller called an outrageous demand. The company's track record on SEP-based claims against Apple hasn't paid off, either. "Not only has Samsung lost more than two dozen SEP assertions against Apple but it's also been unable to enforce any non-SEP anywhere in the world," Mr. Mueller said.

Apple hasn't commented on the UK Court ruling, although Samsung isn't pleased. The company is reviewing the ruling and will likely file an appeal.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Samsung may snatch up little victories, but the overall winner so far in this ongoing patent war has been Apple. With both companies investing so much into this legal fight, however, in the end consumers may be the real losers if this leads to less competition and innovation.

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“in the end consumers may be the real losers if this leads to less competition and innovation”

SEPs are designed to encourage competition based on set standards. That’s the point of standards - to allow others to make use of the technology for a fair fee. By using SEPs to sue others, you are actually working against the principles of standards bodies. Personally, companies that do this should be banned from submitting IP to standards again and all current SEPs deemed public domain (or declared invalid as was the case here).

Apple’s lawsuits have had nothing to do with SEPs but rather IP used only in Apple’s devices. By stealing, copying (whatever) those technologies and designs rather than creating your own you are stifling innovation and true competition.

Samsung’s consumer electronics division has a long history of just copying competitors products and flooding the market with them (they are currently being sued by Whirlpool for anti-dumping tactics). The fact they can ONLY use SEPs to sue demonstrates that they have not invested in designing their own products.


Well put, Michael.  Thank you.


I don’t get the Mac Observer’s Spin, “With both companies investing so much into this legal fight, however, in the end consumers may be the real losers if this leads to less competition and innovation.”

Standard essential patents are designed so companies can all get together behind a single technology without spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing and marketing competing technologies. Samscum is wielding as a sword patents it voluntarily submitted to standards bodies under a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. This hurts consumers as companies like Apple are being forced to spend millions of dollars to defend these bogus lawsuits seeking injunctions.

Moreover, Samscum has a history of stealing others non-standard essential patents. Sharp sued Samsung over TV patents, and it constantly is knocking off LG, GE, and Whirlpool. Samscum in many cases is easily able to do so as these companies often times trust Samscum with preliminary designs to buy Samscum parts. Samscum misuses that trust. In some ways, it is US companies faults for outsourcing so much manufacturing.

Apple is doing what it always has done. Namely, demand that competitors products do not copy its unique designs. I remember standing in a Best Buy two years ago next to a Samsung display. In the five minutes I was there, two different people thought the Samsung phone was an iPhone because it looked just like an iPhone.


Apple should hire that judge.

Lee Dronick

Good one Intruder!

Paul Goodwin

If Samsung didn’t copy other companies’ designs, they wouldn’t be making anything of note. They’d be just a component supplier. They copy all kinds of products.

I’m quite sure their business plans include detailed studies with lawyers’ inputs as to whether a given product can earn enough profit to cover legal expenses and damages. If the answer is yes, they’ll copy it and sell it. By the time the legal battles in court end, the product is obsolete, damages are reduced, or settled out of court, and they move on.

They have no respect for anyone’s design IP. Until they are banned from selling infringing designs to the point they can’t profit from doing it, they’ll just keep on doing it.

Even items they do license, they’ll let the licenses expire and keep on making the product. They are ruthless, and respect no other company’s rights.

If you buy their stuff, you’re supporting the world’s worst slime balls.

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