updated 07:50 pm EDT, Wed October 26, 2011
Italian court OKs iPhone 4S despite Samsung disput
A court in Milan on Wednesday denied Samsung's attempt to block the iPhone 4S in Italy just days before its release in the country. The country's AGI reported that the judge didn't find Samsung's concerns over 3G patents urgent enough that a preliminary ban needed to be in effect before the Friday launch. Both companies would have options to submit more information on the case for a hearing that would be held much later, on December 16.
France had already pushed back a similar hearing to November 15, clearing the iPhone 4S launch two weeks ago. Samsung is making attempts post-launch in Australia and Japan.
In all of the above cases, Samsung has been trying to claim that any Apple 3G hardware, including iPhones and 3G iPads, violates two patents it has over the WCDMA standard for 3G. Apple has taken a two-pronged approach to fighting the claims, arguing that its chipset purchases already cover the patents and that vital standards can't be used to sue companies that haven't been offered a fair deal. The Netherlands already tossed Samsung's claims after pointing out that local law prevented Samsung from trying to charge an excessive rate. In an unintentional slip, Apple revealed that Samsung wanted 2.4 percent per chip.
Other countries' laws often take a similar approach and could see Samsung's claims dismissed quickly.
Samsung still has countersuits in progress but, so far, has mostly been on the losing end. It has had to modify its Galaxy phones to keep sales going after Apple successfully won an early ban, and it has also appealed a preliminary Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban in Germany.
Apple started a set of mutual legal disputes in April after it sued Samsung for allegedly copying the look and certain technologies from the iPad and iPhone. While widely seen as an attempt to slow down Android, the disputes with Samsung have focused more on conspicuous similarities in the hardware and software of phones like the Galaxy S II. Although its tablets have rarely been changed, the smartphones have often been given mild but clear design changes in the US that suggest Samsung is fully aware of how much they resemble Apple's hardware from a distance. [via AppleInsider]