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Samsung’s Riposte

Samsung sues Apple
On eve of settlement talks;
Seeks ban on Mac sales

One day after both companies’ executives were ordered by a federal court to discuss settling their year-long intellectual property dispute, Samsung has again sued Apple.  The world’s two biggest smartphone makers have been battling over IP on four continents since April of 2011.

Samsung, the maker of Galaxy tablets and smartphones, filed suit in the Northern District of California, alleging that Apple violated eight of its patents.  Its counterclaim is in response to a complaint filed by Apple in February.

The patents listed in Samsung’s counterclaim cover:

  • performing non-scheduled transmission in a mobile communication system for supporting an enhanced uplink data channel
  • signaling control information of uplink packet data service in mobile communication system
  • volume control for external audio reproduction, multimedia syncing, data display, virtual keyboards, recording and reproducing digital images and speech and remote video transmission.

These technologies aren’t just limited to smartphones like the iPhone, but are used across Apple’s entire product line, including in iPads, iPods, Macs, Apple TV, iCloud, and iTunes.

Two of the Samsung patents are considered FRAND (standards-essential, and thus required to be offered to competitors at Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory licensing terms).   The EU has recently launched an investigation to determine whether Samsung has been abusing its FRAND patents by overcharging competitors – i.e., licensing at un-“reasonable” rates.  Samsung previously accused Apple of rejecting its proffered FRAND licenses.

In its February suit, Apple sought to ban US sales of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone.  Samsung’s new suit seeks to ban US sales of  Apple products including the Mac laptop and Apple TV.

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