Samsung goes after HTC deal in bid to undercut Apple

“When Apple Inc and HTC Corp last week ended their worldwide legal battles with a 10-year patent licensing agreement, they declined to answer a critical question: whether all of Apple’s patents were covered by the deal,” Dan Levine and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters.

“It’s an enormously important issue for the broader smartphone patent wars. If all the Apple patents are included -including the ‘user experience’ patents that the company has previously insisted it would not license – it could undermine the iPhone maker’s efforts to permanently ban the sale of products that copy its technology,” Levine and Gupta report. “Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which could face such a sales ban following a crushing jury verdict against it in August, asked a U.S. judge on Friday to force Apple to turn over a copy of the HTC agreement.”

Levine and Gupta report, “In a court filing, Samsung argued it is ‘almost certain’ that the HTC deal covers some of the patents involved in its own litigation with Apple… In opposing Apple’s injunction request last month, Samsung said Apple’s willingness to license at all shows money should be sufficient compensation, court documents show. Apple has already licensed at least one of the prized patents in the Samsung case to both Nokia and IBM. That fact was confidential until late last year, when the court mistakenly released a ruling with details that should have been hidden from public view.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Samsung: Unlike HTC, we won’t settle with Apple – November 14, 2012
Next year, Apple and Microsoft could make 600% more from Android than Google – November 13, 2012
Analyst: HTC settlement worth up to $8 per phone for Apple; serve as model for future deals with Apple patent infringers – November 12, 2012
Convicted patent infringer Samsung acuses Apple of trying to limit consumer choice – September 1, 2012
Apple kicks Google’s Android in the teeth; $1.05 billion jury award may really be worth $450 billion – August 27, 2012


      1. “… but as iOS gets more features and Android keeps copying, it may start to be considered FRAND type IP.”

        This is Samsung’s, Google’s and every Fandroid’s wild dream. There is absolutely no legal rationale for any court to suddenly declare a *non* Standards Essential FRAND patent to come under FRAND rules.

        Apple has the legal right to license their non standards essential patents to anyone they want and NOT license them to anyone they don’t want.

        The only, remote way Apple could be forced to license a patent that is not Standards Essential is if Apple were shown to license to the *vast majority* of companies that build smart phones and not license to only one or two. Then the “monopoly” kind of rules come into play. Apple could then be deemed to be controlling the market in licensing to the vast majority but excluding a very small market segment.

        Licensing to only 2 or 3 companies and not all but one or two does not get you there.

        1. I agree that licensing to only 2 or 3 companies shouldn’t get you forced to list them under FRAND but this is the way things seem to be going. The US legal system is working hard to make all patents void even though that may not be their goal.

      2. They can not, because FRAND is only possible when some international standardization institution takes certain patents and makes them part of a standard. This never happened and is not going to happen with Apple’s patents the trials are about.

        Also, Steven Jobs tried to license Apple’s patents to Samsung for more than a year before starting the trials — Samsung declined.

        1. The way the law stands now, I agree with you but the general direction that US law is going seems to be taking the power away from patent holders and allowing ‘competition’ to rule like in the high fashion industry where there are no patents, no copyrights and ‘first mover’ takes quick profits and runs mentality.

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