Samsung made waves last month seeking to ban sales of Apple’s mobile products with 3G capabilities in The Netherlands, meaning iPhones and 3G iPads. The Hague court was anything but impressed and today denied Samsung’s request. The news came as another blow to the South Korean consumer electronics conglomerate, right after the U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh yesterday ruled in a preliminary hearing that Samsung’s products infringe on Apple’s patents. According to a Reuters report, the Dutch court also rejected Apple’s counterclaims in the case:
The Dutch court found that Samsung’s 3G patents were part of essential standards which should be open to license under FRAND and that the two companies should negotiate an agreement.
FRAND, an acronym for “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms” in patent law, assures no company takes unfair advantage in the marketplace by patenting widespread technologies that have become part of international standards. It exists to prevent patent holders from leveraging FRAND patents against rivals.
Samsung recently issued a software update for the Galaxy line of smartphones to avoid Apple patents in The Netherlands. They also separately filed lawsuits against Apple in France and Italy, seeking a ban on iPhone sales in these markets. In addition, Samsung threatened to ban sales of iPhone 4S in Korea ahead of the handset’s introduction earlier this month. The Apple vs. Samsung legal saga now involves twenty lawsuits filed in ten different countries around the world. According to Danish professor Gert Frølund Pedersen – the same antenna expert who predicted the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” – the iPhone 4S could infringe on wireless patents he apparently sold to Samsung in 2007. In question: A technology allowing the iPhone 4S to intelligently switch between the two antennas to send and receive calls, resulting in fewer dropped calls and more reliable network connectivity. Apple’s hardware chief Bob Mansfield can be seen claiming in the iPhone 4S introduction video that Apple’s handset is the first smartphone to feature this capability. True or not, Samsung has yet to hit Apple with those patents as the company hasn’t mentioned those in ongoing lawsuits.