In an apparent attempt to safeguard their own interests and fight the copyright battle with fire, Samsung is moving to court by suing Apple for violating three patent rights that they hold.
This starts with an agreement that Samsung had signed in 1993 with Qualcomm for using their 3G patents and that they would not sue Qualcomm or their customers for using these patents. These refer to the following three Australian patents – 2005239657 (method and apparatus for transmitting and receiving data with high reliability in a mobile communication system supporting packet data transmission), 2005202512 (method and apparatus for data transmission in a mobile telecommunication system supporting enhanced uplink service) and 2006241621 (method and apparatus for transmitting/receiving packet data using predefined length indicator in a mobile communication system). However, that was much before Apple decided to wield their patents and use them to quash competition.
Now Samsung is trying to get back some of their own and pushing Qualcomm and their customers (Apple being the largest recipient of Qualcomm’s processors). Samsung has mentioned that the agreement they had with Qualcomm has been terminated back in April 2011. A notice was served on Qualcomm soon after Apple sued Samsung for design patent copyright infringements for the Galaxy Tab in California.
Following the notice that was served on Qualcomm, Apple to their credit had sought Samsung’s permission for use of the UMTS patents in its devices. Samsung’s “fair commercial rate” for the use of the patents was however rejected by Apple and they made no further attempt to negotiate a fair price for the patents. Apple’s argument is that the very fact that Samsung was willing to license the patents, makes them automatically licensed under the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) laws. Samsung vehemently denies it and is going to present an expert testimony from a French professor and Australian experts in such matters.
The 3G connectivity patents that Samsung refers to directly affects Apple’s top of the line products namely, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2.