Samsung countersues Apple over iPhone, iPad; lawsuits filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany

“Samsung Electronics Co has filed patent lawsuits against Apple over the U.S. firm’s iPhone and iPad in a tit-for-tat case after Apple claimed Samsung’s smartphones and tablets ‘slavishly’ copied its products,” Miyoung Kim reports for Reuters.

“Apple filed a lawsuit last Friday alleging Samsung violated patents and trademarks of its iPhone and iPad, as the popular gadgets are being threatened by the fast rise of rival devices based on Google’s free Android operating system,” Kim reports.

“Samsung said in a statement Friday that Apple’s iPhone and iPad infringe Samsung’s 10 mobile technology patents and it called for Apple to stop infringing its technology and compensate the company,” Kim reports. “Samsung said the suits, filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany, involved 10 alleged infringements of patents mainly involving power reduction during data transmission, 3G technology for reducing errors during data transmission, and wireless data communication technology.”

MacDailyNews Take: Pfft. If that’s the best Samsung can do, they’re toast. Samsung’s finally going to have to pay for their IP theft.

Kim reports, “‘Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business,’ the statement said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As our own SteveJack wrote over three years ago: “Apple’s lawyers really should begin lobbing trade dress lawsuits at these companies and nip this in the bud. Apple’s won them before… This ceaseless quest to dress up antiques in Apple veneer is pathetic and sad… Obviously, Samsung has no shame. And Sprint’s so desperate, they’d sell blocks of wood painted like iPhones if people would buy them.” Read more here: Samsung’s ‘Instinct’ is obviously to make Apple iPhone knockoffs – April 1, 2008

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Terrible reporting: “tit-for-tat case”? Hardly – Samsung isn’t counter-alleging that Apple ripped *them* off. I really hate the false equivalency reporters try to establish in the name of “fairness”, when situations like this show a pretty clear discrepancy. It’s even more glaringly obvious as reviewers and pundits bend over backwards to try to pretend the iPad has any serious rivals on the market today.

    1. Strange at it might seem to American fans of Apple (including me), Samsung does appear to believe that Apple has at some level been taking advantage of Samsung’s large portfolio of hardware patents and hence, yes, ripping them off. From their perspective, as long as the two companies could co-exist profitably, why bother to call Apple to account, better (my speculation of Samsung’s calculation) to ride Apple tide of innovation by copying their look and feel while giving Apple a pass on the hardware, in essence a weird competitive partnership, Apple the software innovator, Samsung the hardware innovator. I’m not an IP lawyer, but those 10,000s of Samsung’s hardware patents must have legal force at some level of analysis. This is just an opening shot. Apple may be playing chess, while Samsung is playing go.

  2. “as the popular gadgets are being threatened by the fast rise of rival devices based on Google’s free Android operating system,”

    Oh yeh, the most profitable and single largest (by revenue) mobile manufacturer is sooooo threatened!

  3. Hopefully this ruins the relationship for Apple… as it will be difficult to get quality parts elsewhere. Go Sammy Go!

    Apple is burning bridges with everyone!

    1. There’s an abundance of quality parts elsewhere available from companies salivating to get the contract, and who will, highly unlikely, plagiarize their best client’s IP…

      Who, exactly, have they burned bridges with? Gizmodo?!!!?

  4. Just curious. What happens if some countries decide a patent dispute for the plaintiff and other countries rule for the defendant? Is there a higher international appeals court to prevent a chaotic patchwork of rulings?

  5. Here in Korea, the press mostly seems to concur that Samsung shamelessly copied the iphone and ipad, and in that sense the Samsung has become something of a joke in Korea. But the difference of opinion here and on sites such as MDN and the American blogosphere generally is this: Samsung possesses a very deep portfolio of hardware patents around the world (on the order of 10,000s in the U.S. alone), many of which touch on key cell phone technology. The company is not that litigious and these have been kept in reserve but are now likely to be brought out in carefully orchestrated waves to ratchet up legal press on Apple. I have no idea how much (if at all) Apple may be deemed to have infringed on the various hardware patents, but the general sense here is, Apple has gone too far this time and its condescension only strengthens Samsung’s resolve.

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