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Samsung counterclaim in Netherlands may ban iPhone, 3G iPad

updated 11:40 am EDT, Fri September 23, 2011

Samsung counters Apple wins in Dutch court

Samsung's promises of a more aggressive response to Apple have proven true quickly after it produced a counterclaim in the Netherlands. Webwereld notes that the claim, in response to Apple's own Dutch lawsuit, would ban iPhones and 3G iPads for allegedly treading on four 3G patents. Five resellers were also pinpointed as at fault just for carrying the iOS hardware.

The countering claims may be mild. As the patents are considered essential ones for using technology, Samsung is obligated to give Apple a license under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms if it asks for one. A hearing on Monday in The Hague, requested by and granted to Apple, is expected to sort out whether or not the patents qualify under FRAND.

The court may reject the counterclaim if it finds that Samsung's patents are vital and that it had deliberately withheld a license to the patents in the hopes of using them for a lawsuit. Any attempted ban could be rendered moot while Apple uses its non-essential patents to extract much more.

Samsung has been using similar patent disputes elsewhere in the world and, where similar laws apply, may be asked to automatically grant Apple licenses.

Critics, most notably intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller, have argued that Samsung's lawsuits over wireless are mostly symbolic gestures made in the slim chance that they could push Apple into a settlement. Apple has so far been successful with early bans and could get permanent bans before any of Samsung's actions gain momentum.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too little. Too late.

    It is possible that Samsung might squeeze a few bucks out of Apple (and everyone else) for using their patents. But it is impossible for Samsung to block any Apple products from being shipped. Patents on basic technology that is commonly used throughout an entire industry (mobile phones in this case) can't be used to stifle a competitor. Samsung's lawyers certainly must know that.

    But let's say Samsung does win its case. Apple (and everyone else) will be forced to pay Samsung to license their patented technology. It's a cost of doing business. On the other hand, Samsung still won't be able to sell their Galaxy Tab in Germany. That's lost business.

    And, of course, Samsung will soon be losing billions of $$$ in contracts with Apple. That's where the real damage is being done. Apple is doing deals with more reputable, more trustworthy, and more rational component suppliers. Meanwhile, Samsung is cutting 80% of their TV production to focus on "mobile devices."

    Good luck with that. You know who you're up against, don't you, Sammy?

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