Phones Review

iPhone 5 ban over 4G/LTE standard-essential patents

Under: Apple iPhone, Samsung
By:Debbie Turner | September 3rd, 2012

Many readers will have followed the recent U.S. patent litigation court battle between Apple and Samsung that resulted in an Apple victory. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple over one billion dollars and Apple also moved to try to ban sales of some Samsung products. Samsung is set to appeal the verdict and in the meantime Apple begun attempts to ban sales of even more Samsung products including its flagship Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. However we recently told how Samsung is planning to fight back against Apple with action if Apple comes up with a 4G LTE iPhone 5 as expected and today we want to look at the possibility of an iPhone 5 ban over 4G LTE standard-essential patents.

Just a few days ago we told readers of the planned intensification of the current legal wrangles between Samsung and Apple as Samsung seems determined to stand its ground and even step up the battle. We told how Samsung currently holds 10% of 4G LTE connectivity patents and is now planning a counterstrike against Apple if the company ‘dares’ to introduce 4G LTE to the next iPhone, expected to be announced this month. It plans to be an intriguing next few weeks ahead then until the iPhone 5 is unveiled and Samsung knows whether it will move on the offensive. In the meantime an article on Foss Patents looks into areas where Samsung could possibly succeed in getting the iPhone 5 banned over 4G LTE patents and points out that it would seem like a truly uphill battle to satisfy every requirement necessary to do this.

The article points out that it will not be enough for Samsung to continue on the defensive against Apple as this merely “delays the inevitable” and that Samsung needs to come up with an offensive such as “enforceable injunctions over impactful non-standard-essential patents.” So far Samsung has been fighting its case/cases with standard-essential patents and has had no success with this, a case in point being last year when it tried to hit Apple with 3G patent assertions against the iPhone 4S. Foss Patents therefore advises against Samsung attempting the use of 4G LTE-essential patents against the iPhone 5 as antitrust regulators could take a dim view of this and instead advises that rather than injunctions Samsung could more reasonably fight for FRAND royalties over SEP’s.

However if Samsung really goes ahead with trying to get the iPhone 5 banned with 4G LTE standard-essential patents, does it stand any chance? Foss Patents details the requirements that this would entail and says Samsung “will have to find at least one jurisdiction of economic relevance in which it can surmount all of the following hurdles.” Those hurdles include patent exhaustion issues, contractual implications of its FRAND pledge and antitrust issues. On top of this the usual requirements for patent enforcement would also need to be established such as validity and infringement plus considering “potential claims that it failed to disclose its patents and patent applications on a timely basis.”

Foss Patents then goes on to look at the likelihood of Samsung winning such a victory in various jurisdictions and concludes that the only country where success might be likely would be in Korea but for other countries it would be a much bigger gamble. If you want to see the breakdown for various countries around the world and the likelihood of Samsung success then check out the original Foss Patent article at the earlier link. It looks into the possibilities in countries such as the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Spain and other European countries as well as other countries further afield such as China and Australia and basically the chances of Samsung achieving any success with an iPhone 5 ban seem slim to say the least.

Therefore if you’re looking forward to the Apple iPhone 5 becoming available then it sounds as though you should be able to sleep at night without worrying unnecessarily about the phone becoming the subject of a ban from Samsung. It will certainly be hugely interesting to watch the developments unfold over the next few weeks and see what happens if the iPhone 5 appears with 4G LTE connectivity. While you can’t really blame Samsung for attempting a counterstrike against Apple, it remains to be seen whether it will go ahead or decide to cut its losses so far.

We’re really interested to hear your thoughts on this. Maybe you’re an iPhone and Apple fan, relieved to hear that Samsung seems to have little chance of an iPhone 5 ban? Alternatively you may admire Samsung for continuing to take on Apple in the courts, seemingly against the odds? Send your comments to let us know where you stand on this controversial topic.

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  • John Minogue

    This is ridiculous. Samsung copied apple and did it well. I am an apple user. It love the s3. If Samsung continue down this road and try to block 4g on the iPhone 5 I will dump all my Samsung good and never purchase a samsung branded product as well. They can play their legal was with apple but do not mess with the consumer. It is after all us that make them their piles of cash.

    • Silvy

      Hmmmm….so its okay for Apple who are known copiers to get Samsungs phones banned on very dubious patents, but not the other way around. Well I have news for you, Apple have lost this case in 5 other countries ( soon to be 6 as the Netherlands court is making a decision this week and they have already thrown Apple’s case out ) because of the prior art issue which completely invalidates Apple’s patents. Just because a bunch of idiots in a jury in the US ignored the prior art issue doesn’t mean the verdict is correct. In fact, it will be overturned in Appeal because the jury did not follow the legal procedure and in US patent law, prior art ( and we are talking about substantial prior art on every one of Apple’s patents ),will render most of them invalid. Before you can say with any certainty that a patent has been infringed, you first have to establish if it is valid and ANY prior art that shows the patent was invented by someone else, rules it invalid. This is what the jury should have done,however, they “skipped it because it was bogging them down “. Had they done so,on most if not all of Apple’s patents,the prior art would have come into play and made them invalid. The jury trial is not the main event , it is the Appeal court who will have to legally decided under the relevant points of law whether Apple’s patents are valid and that is when they will find that the prior art issue will destroy their case completely. Apple are in the wrong here for manipulating a broken patents system to try and punish their rivals and that is what you need to be thinking about. Are you ready to allow a company ( Apple ) to limit your choice or phone by using very dubious patents?…( mess with the consumer as you put it )…..Clearly not so make sure you are seeing the real villain here ( and I will give you a clue – it begins with A )

      • ronf57

        @silvy again I couldn’t agree more.
        some little company out there is going to get a wind fall of money from apple and others based on prior art usage of their patented materials.
        Reminds me of Microsoft using XML in its’ Office suite and a little company in Texas coming out saying…”hey, we developed that XML, you never asked to use it.” They all are currently multimillionaires.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.papakonstantino Peter Papakonstantino

    Apple is the next Microsoft. Without Steve jobs, all apple is …is a sue happy company that wants to monopolize the market. Occupy this….

  • Steve

    @ john
    so you wont purchase samsung products if they try to ban apple over let but you have no problem with apple trying to ban most if not all samsung phones from the US market.
    they’re trying to eliminate competition before their release and whats better then going after all samsung phones
    if anyone its apple thats causing problems
    the only thing they care about is money and how they can get people to spend more on their products

    • Anonymous

      Samsung wouldn’t even have products that would be able to compete w/ iPhones w/o apple’s technology in the first place. Apple came out w/ multi touch to begin with

      • Silvy

        I think you need to check your facts here. Apple did not invent this, RIM ( aka Blackberry ) did on a phone device and Apple copied it. In addition this technology has been around since the 1990′s so you are wrong here.

        • ronf57

          @silvy you are correct about these concepts being derivative not revolutionary. I began last week looking at old devices i have that used similar technology and remember designing devices that used some of the functionality that apple claims they invented. For example:
          1. design shape…HP Jornada i have is dated 2001 rectangular, slightly round corners, color touch screen, center of bottom Big roundish button to turn on device.
          2. multi-touch…in 1999,new years eve, I was called in to repair a industrial Aluminum furnaces’ control system that had stopped working, at a Honda motor co. subsidiary in indiana USA.
          The PLC/large touch controlled screen that displayed all running parameters and graphics of those mechanical systems had stopped functioning while the plant was closed for cleaning and maintenance. I arrived with all the original software for the system and the manuals to try to reload the system and discovered….an almost undocumented function wherein pressing 3 spots near the corners of the screen put the unit into diagnostic mode, this was done accidentally by someone cleaning the screen with two hands. This is early multi-touch.
          3. I have earlier devices that had overlays on the CRT that allowed touch selection and “light pen” interaction, where sliding things and drawing waveforms was possible.CMS Music system comes to mind.
          4. innovation?:pinch to zoom. I had a interface for a music program that had you select the onscreen slider then select where the slider position was and raise or lower it. It could be done with a mouse of a cry with the screen overlay that detected finger position.

          Where is apples revolutionary innovation?
          Because the patent offices around the word have never seen a function applied to a device type yet does not make that functionality patentable, PTO did sloppy work. Samsung should quickly buy the innovating companies and sue apple and PTO for unpatentable products as previous patents exist.
          A color touch display existed extremely long before the iPhone and variations on how touch functioned. For apple to claim innovation on how use of my fingers doing different things and think that patentable is ridiculous. i am in my 50′s and i’ve been pinching and rotating door knobs for most of that time.
          PTO should revise and claim most of those types of patents by ANYONE is prior art and therefore unpatentable.
          I believe someone else created my hands functionality, let’s see apple sue them.

  • AB

    As much as I love Apple i’m Very dis-appointed on Apple i must say, that was a very cowardly move from their side.

    Lets see what wins me over S3 or iPhone 5

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.t.long Shannon T. Long

    This is so dumb! That’s how it works. Imagine if the patents on cars banned other manufacturers from making them. We would probably have some shitty cars right now. I believe apple should get royalties but, banning in some instances a better phone because Samsung or Sony or another manufacturer took some of Apples Ideas and made them better. It’s just BS! Get over it Apple. I own 2 Macs. I love their products but, come on. You guys are becoming the next Microsoft. You are becoming exactly what you made fun of Microsoft for.

  • rakib

    in future samsung will be the number 1 brand in world no doubt i just love samsung galaxy s3 smart phone and i ensure that i phone 5 is not get better service than s3 !!!!!!!!!

    • Neil

      indeed yuo are right,,,

  • http://www.facebook.com/marie.paul.9210 Marie Paul

    It’s a shame this court battle is going on I’m a apple fan myself I would rather the phones do the battling

  • B. Albert

    apple is trying to get rid off all its competition which means less choice for the consumer, sooner or later there may only be apple smart phones and tablets in the market – which means if apple keeps wining, us consumers are are the real losers in the apple vs samsung case

  • Crab Apple

    Apple need to be put back in the box, the superbly designed one with the rounded corners. The are just very clever in repackaging others’ technologies to please the technologically challenged – it’s time they are coughed up for the hard tech within the pretty rounded rectangles that is developed by others.

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