updated 02:50 am EDT, Mon October 17, 2011
Samsung uses 3G patents to sue Apple in Australia
Samsung continued its string of one-for-one legal responses to Apple on Monday with lawsuits against the company in Australia and Japan. The Australian complaint hopes to block the iPhone 4S for allegedly violating the same three 3G standards patents it has been trying to use in Europe. These include sending and receiving packets of a pre-determined length over the WCDMA technology that forms the base of 3G, as well as enabling fast upload speeds and reliable data on HSPA-based 3G networks.
The Japanese dispute is more unique and touches on one patent for HSPA-based 3G and three user interface patents that "seriously violate" Samsung's rights, according to a statement. They include an airplane mode icon, an app store menu layout, and the use of home screen space. Although these are potentially basic elements, Samsung saw them as vital.
"Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology," Samsung insisted. "We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property."
Samsung's claim in at least Australia may be more symbolic than practical. The challenge uses the same three patents that led to the Netherlands rejecting Samsung's lawsuit for supposedly abusing patents it's supposed to license out on fair terms. Apple may only need to point to its Dutch win to have the Australian lawsuit dismissed and to strike the 3G portion of the Japanese claims.
The timing of the two lawsuits is also odd given that Apple had already started selling the iPhone 4S, unlike the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has now been temporarily blocked from sale without having ever been officially available beforehand.
Apple hasn't commented but may use the same strategies that it has elsewhere, including getting chipset vendors' info to possibly prove that the chipsets already have Samsung's license factored in. [via Florian Mueller]