Apple won the first battle when Judge Koh ruled that loads of Samsung phones infringed Apple patents and copied its trade dress, but Samsung and its chums are back, and they want revenge, especially now that the iPhone 5 is out. The industry has around a dozen Android phones all lining up to do battle against Apple’s latest darling, and HTC and Samsung are packing serious legal heat that could prevent the iPhone 5 even getting to shops reports AndroidAndMe.
Samsung & HTC file for ban of iPhone 5 sales in US & Europe
The iPhone 5, it seems, will use the LTE radio high-speed data transfer standard, which is a standard based on hundreds of patents – some held by Samsung and HTC. An industry source said: “Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple’s home-turf ― are our primary targets.”
HTC has already got the ball rolling with the company putting its patent claims in front of a US International Trade Commission Judge. Due process is grinding away, but Judge Thomas Pender has told Apple that “Clear and convincing means something to me; I have to be pretty darn certain a US patent is invalid,” when Apple’s lawyers doubted the validity of HTC’s LTE patents. HTC has been an industry and market leader in LTE ever since the HTC Thunderbolt came onto Verizon’s LTE network last year. The company has also supplied LTE devices to every big LTE network in the world.
It’s highly unlikely the courts will be able to slap an injunction on Apple before the iPhone 5 gets out, but Cupertino certainly is on its backfoot now. Apple has 434 LTE patents to its name, but if just one of these looks a little too much like one of the patents owned by Samsung and HTC, either company would be justified in asking for an injunction.
There are some who would love to see Apple get a trouncing, but it would be better for the industry as a whole to turn this feud into an opportunity to make cross-licensing agreements. This would mean that the phones would stand or fall on their own merits without anyone spending millions on lawyers. These patent vendettas are becoming silly.
Do you think the iPhone 5 will be banned in Europe and the US?