Apple could lose German patent case vs. Samsung in January, gives up iPhone 4S firmware in Australia

In Australia, as part of discovery, Samsung got access to Apple’s Qualcomm baseband source code for the iPhone 4S (lookout for battery issues while you are in there Sammy!).

Other matters appeared to be resolved, including Samsung’s access to the firmware used in the iPhone 4S’ baseband chip, supplied by Qualcomm.

A software expert had approximately two hours’ access to the firmware and would submit his findings by Sunday.

According to FOSSPatents, Samsung’s lawsuits against Apple in Germany are really heating up after a Mannheim hearing set a schedule for January 20 and 27 of 2012. It looks like Apple has a tough case, as the hearing leaned towards Samsung’s claims.

The two patents asserted in today’s litigations are

  • EP1005726 on a “turbo encoding/decoding device and method for processing frame data according to QoS”, and
  • EP1114528 on an “apparatus and method for controlling a demultiplexer and a multiplexer used for rate matching in a mobile communication system”.

Samsung’s third German complaint against Apple, which wasn’t at issue today, relates to EP1188269 on an “apparatus for encoding a transformat format combination indicator for a communication system”.

Below is a full rundown of the issues discussed at today’s hearing..

Read more

Judge blocks Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia at Apple’s request

Claiming Samsung copied the iPad’s design, Apple has successfully achieved their mission in getting an Australian judge to block Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia, reports Sydney Morning Herald. Apple says that Samsung is infringing on two patents, and the judge ruled until changes are made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can’t be sold from this point on.

Apple and Samsung have current litigation continuing over in Europe and the United States. Apple has already successfully blocked the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany and hopes to do so elsewhere.

Samsung won’t start addressing the core patent issue (screen patent) with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 quite yet. They want to prepare a proper defense against Apple. Interestingly, Samsung has setup a temporary store across from a Sydney Apple Store selling Samsung Galaxy S IIs for $2, to detract from the upcoming iPhone 4S launch Friday. The fight continues…

Cross-posted from 9to5google.com.

Read more

Samsung offers Apple a secret deal in Australia

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has offered Apple a secret deal to sort out the mess surrounding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet launch in Australia. The report has it that Samsung proposed a cunning solution that would allow them to release the device in the country next week. Apple’s legal counsel Stephen Burley allegedly told Justice Annabelle Bennett that Samsung’s “inconvenience would be diminished and we would be comforted” if the deal was accepted.

What incentive Samsung might have in store for Apple in exchange for releasing its tablet in Australia as early as next week is anyone’s guess. I asked patent expert Florian Mueller, who runs the FOSSPatents blog, about this. He responded on Twitter that Samsung “might promise not to infringe certain patents, make a payment, and perhaps also procedural concessions”.

Read more

Apple vs. Samsung is about ecosystems, not tablets or patents


Apple has made its concerns official. The iPhone maker fears Samsung tablet will lure consumers away from the powerful iTunes ecosystem. Apple’s been successfully leveraging iTunes to tie people to the platform through app and entertainment content sales.

The heated Apple vs. Samsung legal battle over who’s copying who is really about the ecosystem rather than the hardware or the patents. That’s the gist of today’s hearing before the Federal Court in Sydney related to an Apple-requested ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia. According to Smh.com.au, lawyers for Apple argued that the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that buyers may be “seduced” from the iOS platform.

It’s all about the apps and the broader ecosystem, Apple’s legal team told Justice Annabelle Bennett, arguing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 “is vastly the one that is going to be targeting the iPad 2″. IDC numbers released today suggest that that tablet shipments to Australia and New Zealand doubled sequentially in the June quarter, which the research firm attributed to an influx of Android tablets recently released into those markets.

Apple’s lawyers then resorted to the “fire hose” metaphor to make their case:

This is going to be launched on the market with the velocity of a fire hose and it is going to just come in and take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that by the time we get to final hearing the full impact of the patent infringement will be to the detriment of Apple and to the benefit of Samsung.

And this bit about the battle of ecosystems:

They’ll then be Android people and the investment in the apps that they make to purchase on their Galaxy Tab will be something they can’t use on an Apple product.

Read more

Ahead of the launch, Samsung wants iPhone 5 banished from Korea


An artist’s rendition of iPhone 5.

The Korea Times reports that Samsung “is seeking a complete ban” on the iPhone 5 sales in Korea – even before the handset is even released, let alone officially announced. Local carriers KT and SK Telecom have so far sold about 3.1 million iPhones in the country. The paper quotes an unnamed Samsung senior executive:

Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.

Another Samsung executive is “quite confident” about “a big breakthrough” provided Samsung wins in Germany, adding that “so will other envisioned efforts against such products as the iPhone 5″. The report goes on to mention that iPhone sports an LG Display-made screen, LG Innotek’s eight-megapixel camera, Samsung-made NAND flash and A5 chip and an NFC chip for wireless payment.

The twist in this case, of course, is the fact that Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying displays, NAND flash memory and custom-built A4 and A5 chips for its products. It has been reported that Samsung may soon lose its iOS device processor contract as Apple turns to rival TSMC.

The manufacturing relationship means Samsung gets information about the innards of Apple’s non-released devices months before the actual manufacturing ramp up. This early access to Apple’s designs could have led Samsung to move with the iPhone 5 ban in Korea ahead of Apple’s official launch. On the other hand, Apple did not accuse Samsung yet of abusing its manufacturing contract to rip off Apple’s upcoming devices with its own products.

Read more

Samsung targets iOS devices in France as Apple puts brakes on Motorola until Google merger is completed


This is a Samsung-branded Windows 8 tablet Microsoft is giving away to BUILD attendees today. 

The latest in the ongoing patent saga involving Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung includes an unexpected twist as Samsung goes after iPhone and iPad with a complaint filed before a Paris district court in July. The filing alleges infringement of Samsung’s three technology patents, reports AFP. The first hearing is expected in December of this year.

Meanwhile, patent expert Florian Müller notes on his blog FOSSPatents that Apple has filed motions to temporarily halt two Motorola lawsuits until Google completes its $12.5 billion acquisition, which shook the technology world last month. Put simply, Apple argues Motorola waived its rights to sue when it transferred patents to Google. Apple wrote:

To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit

As you know, Google has transferred some of the Motorola patents to HTC, in addition to the ones acquired from Palm and Openwave Systems. HTC then used those patents to counter-sue Apple. Back to Apple vs. Samsung…

Financial Times today opined that Samsung needs to hit the reset button, predicting a licensing agreement of sorts provided Apple succeeds in blocking Galaxy products in the U.S. next month. Contrary to the reports, the publication thinks “Apple is restricted from taking its chip business to Samsung’s rivals in Taiwan because Samsung offers a complete package of components that other firms cannot match”. However, there are indications that Apple’s been lowering Samsung orders for some time and it’s widely believed the company is eager to take its silicon business to TSMC beginning next year.

Read more