The stage is almost set for the curtain-raiser of Apple’s newest iPhone – the iPhone 5. However, even before the smartphone by the Cupertino giant makes an appearance, it has palled controversies. In the latest turn to an ongoing patent battle, Samsung will reportedly be sue Apple for alleged patent infringements.
A report on The Korean Times affirms that, according to industry sources Samsung Electronics will sue Apple over the release of the iPhone 5, for it finds the latter to be infringing on its fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity patents. Quoting an industry source, the report adds further, “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.”
Fresh worries for Apple
The decision to sue the Cupertino-based giant was reached upon, after it was known that the iPhone 5 featuring 4G LTE would be unveiled in Korea. Reportedly, Apple is with the local mobile carriers on releasing the LTE-enabled iPhone in the local market “for domestic telecommunications frequencies.”
Quoting another source, the report added, “Apple claimed the existing 3G-related patents are standard essential patents (SEPs) according to our earlier commitment to the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. But the story is totally different when you talk about LTE patents. These are new and highly-valued.”
HTC, another smartphone manufacturer, Apple locked horns with won a court battle pertaining to the LTE, and here the report adds that it does bring in “the possibility that Samsung's bet will fully pay off.”
At the end of a rather long standing battle, Apple won leaving Samsung Electronics to cough up compensation to the tune of a staggering $1.05 billion. The court, in its recent decision, affirmed that Samsung infringed on Apple's technologies, which it used to create its iPhone and iPad. Samsung, however, is expected to appeal on the decision. In what would also come as a blow to Samsung's ambitions in the US, Apple has also demanded in its appeal that Samsung withdraw its most popular smartphones and tablets from the US market.
Apple and Samsung were friends once and share a complex relationship as Samsung is a key components supplier to Apple. Only recently was it reported that a British judge in his ruling affirmed that Samsung's Galaxy tablets did not infringe Apple's designs for the iPad, because they were “not as cool”. It was Judge Colin Birss, who noted in his High Court judgment that the Galaxy tablets were part of the 'same same family as the Apple design' when seen from the front. However, Samsung products, he noted, were “very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back”.
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