It’s just a day before the expected debut of the Apple iPhone 5 and already rivals Samsung and HTC are sharpening their legal knives hoping to kill “the one having been born king of the Jews smartphones” as it still lies in its minimal, elegantly designed crib.
Samsung and HTC lawyers aim to slay the baby iPhone 5
Immediate legal action
A report in The Korea Times says that “LTE patent-rich Korean firm (Samsung) keenly awaits debut for assessment.” Sources speaking to the newspaper said that “It’s true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States - Apple’s home-turf - are our primary targets”. The new iPhone is widely expected to sport 4G connectivity, most of the debate is about which LTE bands are supported by the soon to be revealed new smartphone.
HTC has LTE patents too
HTC is also ready to sue Apple according a Bloomberg Businessweek report late last week. HTC owns US patents relating to LTE technology which is currently used by the latest US iPad and which is probably going to be utilised in the iPhone 5. In August 2011 HTC filed a complaint about Apple violating two of its US patents concerning LTE technology. Apple has requested the ITC court quash HTC’s patents claim, its lawyer suggests the patents were bought (for $75 million) simply for the ability to sue Apple. Judge Pender replied to this notion; “I don't care if they bought these patents to sue you or not. They are a property right”. The US trade judge continued to explain why HTC’s patent claim is applicable; “I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid.” HTC has to show that it is using the technology within the patents in order to win the case.
Previously Apple used 3G technology in its products under FRAND terms (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory). However sources in the Korea Times report said LTE patents are not standard essential patents (SEPs), but are “new and highly-valued”.