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.