Samsung is reportedly devising plans to sue Apple for infringing its 4G LTE patents in the iPhone 5, which could see the smartphone facing importation bans in several countries.
Revealed at a high-profile event in San Francisco, the Apple iPhone 5 comes with long-term evolution (LTE), a mobile technology on which Samsung currently owns a stash of patents.
The Korea Times reported that Samsung is already aiming at the device to retaliate against Apple after the American company won a recent jury verdict and $1 billion in damages from Samsung.
The jurors, led by a controversial foreman Velvin Hogan, simply ignored Samsung’s insistence that Apple used its mobile patents without paying proper royalties.
“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 its primary targets,” said an unnamed industry source to the Korean newspaper.
The South Korean tech giant’s move came immediately after industry sources confirmed on Monday that the US tech giant will introduce the iPhone 5 with 4G LTE connectivity in Korea.
The sources said that Apple has agreed with local mobile carriers to release the LTE-enabled iPhone on the local market for domestic telecommunications frequencies.
At that time, the sources also added it’s unlikely Apple would release the new iPhone using conventional third-generation (3G) networks.
“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,” said another anonymous industry source to The Korea Times.
This news comes at a bad time for Apple, as a judge has ruled that the firm could fail to invalidate claims put forward by HTC that Apple infringes its LTE patents too. This move by the Taiwanese firm could also see the latest Apple Ipad and upcoming Iphone 5 suffer from import bans as well.
In a similar issue, Taiwan’s HTC, which is also battling with the iPhone maker over patents, won a court battle over LTE, raising the possibility that Samsung’s bet will fully pay off.
The Seoul Central District Court Ruled Samsung did not copy Apple and ordered the latter to stop selling its iPads and iPhones, while the Tokyo Central District Court also favored the Korean technology giant by ruling it did not infringe on the U.S. firm’s patents.
The two companies are currently playing out similar fights in a court in Den Hague, the Netherlands and an appeals process in a German court this week.
“SK Telecom and KT will face some difficulty in their marketing strategies for the 4G LTE iPhone because of a fresh legal attack on Apple,’” said an industry executive, asking not to be identified, that Apple is being pressured due to Samsung’s rapid rise in the LTE-enabled smartphone market.
Source: The Korea Times
Image: Apple Inc.