Samsung adds iPhone 5 to its patent-infringement lawsuit

October 2, 2012
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Samsung has added Apple’s¬†iPhone 5 to its current¬†patent-infringement lawsuit which it has brought against the iPhone maker in the¬†federal court in San Jose, California. According to Samsung, the iPhone 5¬†infringes two standards patents and six features patents.

The two companies, who are the first and second biggest smartphone makers in the world, are currently locked in a global legal battle with each one saying it is protecting its intellectual property, designs and innovations. Lawsuits, injunctions and product bans are being filed and requested in Europe, Asia and the USA. For Android users with non-Samsung phones the repercussions are larger than just the fortunes of the Korean electronics giant as any successful judgement could be applied to all Android devices and force companies like Google, Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony into the fray.

According to the court filings made by Samsung, as soon as the iPhone 5 went on sale it began to investigate possible patent infringements in the product.

“We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights,” Samsung said in a statement.

Slow Justice

The Samsung v Apple case, in which Samsung says that Apple infringes eight of its patents with the iPhone (including now the iPhone 5) and the iPad and iPod Touch, will only start in 2014. Which in the tech industry is a very long time. Who knows what devices Apple and Samsung will release over the next 15 months while this case is sitting around collecting dust. For sure Samsung will add future Apple devices to the list (iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 or the iPad mini).

This isn’t the first patent case between Apple and Samsung. Last July a jury decided that¬†Samsung had infringed six Apple patents. Now Samsung says Apple has infringed 8 of its and around we go. There are two things to note here:

  1. The patent system is broken. It is costly, slow and when there is an infringement it can take years to resolve.
  2. Apple and Samsung need to enter into a cross licensing deal. It is likely both have infringed each others patents. Please Apple, please Samsung, just sort it out.

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