Apple has obtained temporary embargoes on its rivals’ products in Australia and Germany and is seeking similar rulings in several other countries. In a statement, Samsung said: “Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology, and we will steadfastly protect our intellectual property.”
Samsung’s claim centres around two patents covering Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA), part of the iPhone’s 3G wireless connectivity. As the technology is essential to the functioning of modern phones, Samsung is obliged to license it to other manufacturers under Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
Conversely, the patents being enforced by Apple against Samsung in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia relate to specific innovations which it is not obliged to license – primarily around its touchscreen user interface. It has also successfully argued before the courts that the look and feel of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab gave a “clear impression of similarity”.
Observeres believe Samsung are walking a fine line between standing-up to Apple and avoiding jeopardising valuable contracts with its occasional foe. Samsung supplies parts for many of Apple’s devices, including screens for some of its smartphones and tablets. The two companies are said to have agreed a components deal in February worth $7.8bn (£5bn).
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