The patent wars between Samsung and Apple continues to escalate. Following the sales ban of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, Samsung has hit back demanding a ban on the sale of iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan. It had earlier filed similar motions in France and Italy.
The patent wars are benefitting no one, and in addition to legal costs are causing the companies in user support. The blogosphere has been filled with fan wars with each side accusing the other of cheating.
Whatever be the result in the short term, a cross-licensing agreement, and a settlement of patent claims seems to be the only permanent solution to these issues. The companies should bury the hatchet, and go on with the task of innovating rather than fighting it out in court.
The genesis of these claims and counter claims lies in Apple’s perceived threat from Android devices. Android has become the most popular platform with more than 50% of the market share.
Apple is trying to counter the threat by suing for infringement. The strategy can only be successful in the short term, in the long term, companies like Samsung, behemoths in their own right will simply bring out devices with a different design.
“Samsung Electronics today filed preliminary injunction motions in the Tokyo District Court, Japan and in the New South Wales Registry, Australia, requesting the courts to stop the sale of Apple’s iPhone4S in the respective countries,” Samsung said in an e-mail statement.
The announcement came two weeks after Samsung asked judges in France and Italy to block the sales of the new version of iPhone Oct 5, accusing Apple of infringing severely on Samsung’s wireless telecommunications technology, reported Xinhua.
Apple’s new chief executive Tim Cook introduced Oct 4 the upgraded iPhone, featuring new voice command function, dual-core A5 processor and a higher-resolution camera. The new iPhone was rolled out Oct 14 in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Japan and Australia.
The iPhone 4S was widely estimated to be sold more than 2 million units in its first weekend after being rolled out as customers around the world rushed to buy the new iPhone, viewed as one of the last products developed under the late Steve Jobs.
Samsung claimed that Apple violated its mobile and user interface (UI) patents. In Japan, infringements on one High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) standard-related patent and three user UI patents were cited as the sales ban request. In Australia, Samsung cited three patent infringements related with wireless telecommunications standards as the preliminary injunction request.
In Japan, Samsung is also seeking a court injunction to bar the sale of iPhone4 and iPad2, according to the statement.
Separately, Samsung appealed the Australian court’s decision Oct 13 to grant a preliminary sales ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
“Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology. We will no longer stand idly by and will steadfastly protect our intellectual property,” Samsung said.
Patent battle between Samsung and Apple has escalated recently after Samsung shifted its stance from passive to offensive. Lee Young-hee, head of global marketing for mobile communications at Samsung, told media Sep 23 that Samsung would pursue its right for wireless patents in a more aggressive way, calling its past approach as passive.
Samsung has been involved in patent lawsuits with Apple in 10 countries around the world.