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Featured: Does Samsung Want to Cross-License with Apple?

September 3, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner

Since Apple has gained a victory in court, Samsung has definitely taken off its gloves, and has prepared to no longer play “nice” with Apple. Since the verdict from the jury ruled in favor of Apple, Samsung came full force threatening to sue Apple should they come out with any LTE devices, which is funny because Apple is releasing the new iPhone soon.

According to Apple Insider, there was a “mockup” of a “full assembled iPhone 5 at the IFA,” but no details were given on if it would be processing LTE technology or not.  The iPhone 5 will definitely have a new look, but what I’m wondering is will it be LTE equipped? A little more digging and I came across an article that had this to say about the iPhone 5:

“…the new iPhone 5 is going to have some amazing new hardware and features like 3D video and pictures, newly designed keyboards and 4G speeds to name a few!”

Did you catch the end of that that? 4G speeds? If you continue to read further down, the article also says:

“The new iPhone 5 will boast 4G also known as LTE-Long Term Evolution technology according to AT&T which is due to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which is in line with the most recent technology standards for mobile networks.”

If this is truly the case I gleam with anticipation as Samsung will no doubt be filing a lawsuit again the big Apple. Samsung is definitely the big dog when it comes to patent portfolios pertaining to “infrastructure IP.” This was actually posted in the Korea Times where Samsung openly threatened they would be going after Apple should they release any devices (the new iPhone presumably) with LTE capabilities. The statement went as follows:

“Samsung confirmed that it will immediately sue Apple if the latter releases products using advanced long-term evolution (LTE) mobile technology. LTE has been emerging as the top standard in the global mobile industry.”

Currently Apple has no LTE devices except the newly released iPad, which comes with the option to get 4G by adding either AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

The chart below is statistics of “Mobile Communication Related Issued Patents (USPTO and EPO) 1993-2011.Samsung is close to the top.

 

The speculation that has come of this has critics starting to wonder if the “threat” isn’t a bluff, but a way that Samsung can get a “cross-licensing” deal with Apple. This cross licensing deal could potentially ease the following proceedings of the case Samsung just lost. It would also enable Samsung to not receive a ban on the devices found to be infringing. This would be what some call a “truce” and would “involve offering to license LTE patents to Apple while Samsung in turn would agree to license some of Apple’s patents covering the iPhone and iPad.” Seems simple enough right? Then again, we are dealing with Apple, and considering how they wouldn’t back down in mediation, I’m wondering if this would be a consideration for them. They had already offered a “cross-licensing” deal to Samsung before the trial started, at which they refused, so they just may refuse Samsung’s.

Samsung is fully prepared to fight Apple especially now more than ever. It is said that there is “50 patent disputes that involve Apple in 10 different countries.” Samsung is getting ready to fight them all by stating they are:

“…preparing all measures for all scenarios”

Sounds pretty serious! Samsung released this statement in the Korea Times:

“Samsung was defeated in California, however, the fight isn’t over yet. The company briefly suffered from a 7.5 percent plunge in its stocks after the verdict, but the company has the capability to recover from a one-off injury. What really matters is the leadership of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee is being put on the test as Samsung is in crisis, at least for the time being,”

I am both excited and curious to see what will come of this debate. Once the verdict is reached on December 6th whether to ban these Samsung devices or not is the time Samsung plans to strike. It may be a tiring story that many of us are annoyed with hearing, but I for one look forward to the appeals, but also to the full-fledged fight that Samsung has prepared!

 

Sources: Apple Insider / Korea Times / Hub Page / Gigaom