Samsung to disrupt Apple's iPhone 5 launch with patent lawsuit over 4G

By Graeme Burton
01 Sep 2012 View Comments
The new iPad

Samsung is poised to disrupt the launch of the new Apple iPhone 5 mobile phone, expected this month, by instigating a new lawsuit claiming intellectual property infringement on its 4G patents by Apple.

The legal action may even include injunctions preventing the sale of the new iPhone, as well as The New iPad, launched in March, which also uses 4G technology. Samsung is believed to be holding fire in its legal fightback against Apple until the launch of the much-hyped new product.

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While secrecy surrounds the launch, as it does for every Apple product release, it is widely believed to sport LTE technology – more commonly known as 4G – which can radically increase internet speeds for end-users.

However, Samsung is the second-biggest holder of 4G patents after Nokia, holding around 12 per cent of the patents behind 4G compared to Nokia's 18 per cent.

The claims have been made in South Korean daily newspaper, The Korea Times. It suggests that Apple has already been in talks with 4G networks about carrying the new iPhone.

The lawsuit would form part of Samsung's fightback against Apple following the legal pasting it received in a California court last week, when it lost almost all counts in a major intellectual property lawsuit against Apple.

In a judgment that is almost certain to be vigorously contested, Samsung was ordered to pay more than $1bn (£665m) in damages to Apple for infringing a number of US design and utility patents owned by Apple. Samsung's counter-claims were all rejected. Apple moved quickly to commence proceedings to ban sales in the US of eight of Samsung's flagship phones, most based on the Galaxy SII.

The judgment was the latest in a long line of intellectual property lawsuits brought by Apple against its rivals in the mobile phone market. Apple claims that Android, the popular open source mobile phone operating system developed by Google, infringes a number of its design patents covering the look and feel of its own iOS operating system.

Documents from 2010 released to the court indicated that Apple wanted Samsung to buy a licence to use what it regards as its intellectual property, an agreement that would have cost Samsung up to $30 (£19) per phone – not just Android phones that Apple claims rip-off its own products, but every mobile phone that Samsung produces.

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