updated 12:15 pm EDT, Thu April 5, 2012
Apple gets 3G code in Australian Samsung suit
Apple received important ammunition on Thursday in its defense against Samsung's Australian lawsuit over the iPhone. Both Infineon's owner Intel as well as Qualcomm have both provided source code for their 3G implementations. Apple hopes to show that it's not violating Samsung's 3G patents and will likely try to argue for patent exhaustion, or the idea that the patents' license don't extend further than ann immediate grant to someone else.
The American phone designer has argued that at least its deal with Qualcomm means that Qualcomm, not Apple, has fully paid for a license on each chipset. The strategy has had effectiveness in having complaints dismissed in Europe and has led to an attempt to block Motorola's lawsuits outright over claims of overreach.
An official trial doesn't start until July 9 and will last until October 12. Although it may be somewhat hollow for Samsung, as even a win could appear only after the iPhone 4S is replaced at the high end and no longer as important, it may still be one of the largest patent lawsuits in recent months. Justice Annabelle Bennett has warned that the trial might be big enough to require more than one judge and get a court-chosen testimonial on top of whatever the two sides produce on their own.
Samsung's lawsuit is a response to Apple's own lawsuits in Australia, which have had mixed success at best. Most of Samsung's defense worldwide has rested on suing over standards-based patents and has drawn enough complaints that it's facing an EU investigation over patent abuse. [via Bloomberg]