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Apple Wouldn’t Have Created an iPhone if it Wasn’t for our Technology: Samsung


Samsung and Apple are currently preparing arguments for the upcoming trial and in the midst of all that there are some strong words coming through from both camps. It is Samsung this time, and the company mentioned that Apple wouldn’t have been able to produce an iPhone without using Samsung products or technology. The point that Samsung makes is by far the most aggressive comment we’ve seen come from the Korean manufacturer. Samsung also rightly referred to the components like memory chips and processors that it supplies for the iPhone and the iPad. That is a good point really, but I don’t think it would have been hard for Apple to get these components elsewhere. However, Samsung does make a very strong case with this trial brief. This answer from Samsung came right after Apple claimed that Samsung owed over $2.5 billion in lost profits, royalty damages etc.

Here are a few important points from Samsung’s statement:

  • For good measure, Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone. Apple‘s own internal documents show this. In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived of, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article that contained an interview of a Sony designer to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, the Sony designer discussed Sony portable electronic device designs that lacked “excessive ornamentation” such as buttons, fit in the hand, were “square with a screen” and had “corners [which] have been rounded out.”
  • Contrary to the image it has cultivated in the popular press, Apple has admitted in internal documents that its strength is not in developing new technologies first, but in successfully commercializing them. . . . Also contrary to Apple‘s accusations, Samsung does not need or want to copy; rather, it strives to best the competition by developing multiple, unique products. Samsung internal documents from 2006, well before the iPhone was announced, show rectangular phones with rounded corners, large displays, flat front faces, and graphic interfaces with icons with grid layouts.
  • Apple relied heavily on Samsung‘s technology to enter the telecommunications space, and it continues to use Samsung‘s technology to this day in its iPhone and iPad products. For example, Samsung supplies the flash memory, main memory, and application processor for the iPhone. But Apple also uses patented Samsung technology that it has not paid for.
  • Long before Apple even announced any of its 3G products that use Samsung‘s standards-essential technology, Samsung had offered licenses for these patents (along with other patents) to virtually every major player in the mobile phone industry, successfully striking cross-licensing deals with all of them. After Apple released products that use the technology patented in the [two standards-essential patents at issue in the trial], Samsung similarly offered a cross-licensing deal to Apple, asking for a fair and reasonable royalty in return for Apple‘s use of Samsung‘s technology. Unlike all the major players in the mobile phone industry, however, Apple refused to enter a cross-licensing deal with Samsung.

The points made by Samsung are vital and could go a long way in putting its case forward. While we do not know if these allegations are justified, Samsung has hit out strong at Apple’s camp. Samsung owns a fair share of patents and it is highly likely that Apple would have infringed on some, this is the tech industry after all. It would seem rather strange though that Samsung would wait all these years to claim that Apple refused to pay royalties for its intellectual property. One thing is for sure though, things certainly have gotten heated up over at Apple’s camp now and it will be interesting to see what Apple’s lawyers come up with.

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