So remember that one time I said that Samsung was planning on stepping up its game against Apple? That was no joke. In the same court that granted an EU-wide injunction against three of its Galaxy smartphones, the Hague Court in the Netherlands, Samsung has asked that the iPhone and iPad get pulled from shelves.
Rather than being based on design (like Apple’s GalTab injunction request), this complaint is based solely on 3G technology patents held by Samsung and is aimed specifically at the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and both generations of the iPad. Within the request, as seen by Webwereld, Samsung claims that all four of those products infringe on four different Samsung patents. The preliminary injunction request asks that Apple be banned from trading, importing or selling these devices within the Netherlands. Past that, Samsung also wants all current iPhone and iPad models pulled from store shelves.
The four patents in question are the same ones that Samsung has brought against Apple across much of the globe, including the U.S., France, Japan, the U.K. South Korea, and Germany. They are essentials patents, which means that they cover technology necessary to the industry as a whole. With essentials patents, the right holder must license the patents to third parties without discrimination — this is known as FRAND terms.
Samsung has recently said that Apple was “freeriding” with regards to Samsung patents, and this may very well be the point at which Samsung cashes in. Obviously, a few bucks here and there from Apple would be nice, but what Samsung really needs is an injunction of some sort on any iProduct. As I mentioned in my earlier post, there’s very little chance of a settlement unless Samsung can prove to Apple that it won’t be knocked around. A ban on the iPhone or iPad would be ideal, whereas a licensing agreement is really just a continuation of this whole dramatic mess.
Apple’s lawyers have set up a hearing in which both companies can discuss the FRAND licensing issues. This would allow for talk of an injunction to fall by the wayside, as Apple and Samsung would merely have to negotiate licensing fees. Of course if Apple refuses to take the licenses (which would be a shocking decision), then Samsung can move forward with its injunction request.