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South Korean phonemaker complains that Apple "flagrantly" stole its intellectual property

In Paris, France and Milan, Italy today, South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) will open a new chapter in its legal war [1][2][3][4] [5][6][7] with Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  As promised, the company will file suit looking to block sales of Apple's new iPhone 4S.

Samsung comments:

The infringed technology is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple’s violation as being too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales.

Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.

Specifically, Samsung accuses Apple of two new patent infringements on Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.  W-CDMA is a 3G technology that competes globally with CDMA2000.  Some countries heavily use this standard, so Apple's new "global" iPhone is capable of picking up signal from a variety of kinds of networks.

By asking for a preliminary injunction, Samsung is asserting that it believes its evidence of infringement is compelling enough to ban sales while the case goes to trial.  This would be a major blow to Apple, who is counting on the iPhone 4S to be a revenue driver.

iPhone 4siPhone 4s

Samsung adds that it "plans to file preliminary injunctions in other countries after further review."

Elsewhere, Samsung recently received bad news, as well.  Its proposal to reallow sales in exchange for a speedy trial was rejected by Apple, leaving its tablets still stalled in Australia, pending an official court ruling on the preliminary injunction Apple is requesting in that region.

The pending trade disputes in France and Italy bring the international lawsuit/trade court complaint total for the two firms up to at least 25 lawsuits in 12 different countries.

Apple and Samsung are currently number one and number two, respectively, in global smartphone and in global tablet sales.  While Apple currently holds the lead, Samsung last quarter posted over three times the growth of Apple, making it the world's fastest growing smartphone company.  

A reader submitted this humorous comic to us on the topic: "Rage Comic #14795"

Source: Samsung



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RE: FRAND
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/5/2011 9:17:55 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
So Samsung admits the techniques in the patents are required if anyone is going to implement the specific 3G standard? Then it comes under the FRAND rules.

The worst case is that the judge is going to require that Apple pay Samsung FRAND licensing fees.

That's not necessarily correct. In other legal disputes companies, including Phillips have been permitted to sue rivals in EU court looking to ban their products from the market... e.g.:
http://www.eplawpatentblog.com/eplaw/2010/03/nl-ph...

The licensing requirement you refer to is not formally defined in EU law. Rather it's a supposed "precedent" set in German court by the "Orange Book" decision:
http://www.tangible-ip.com/2009/the-orange-book-th...

However, there is no official precedent in EU court -- what one country's court decides can be quite different from what another's decides.

Further, Samsung could successfully argue that the patents in question are not essential to the standard (as alternative 3G technologies exist elsewhere) and thus are still eligible for lawsuits, even in regions where F/RAND-based product bans ARE disallowed (such as Germany).

Samsung could well succeed in banning the iPhone 4S in France and Italy, much as Apple banned its tablets in Germany.


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