Samsung files additional iPhone US suit against Apple

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Samsung has filed a new lawsuit against Apple in the US, joining a variety of other legal actions filed in other countries, in reaction to Apple's original suit claiming Samsung has "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad designs.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Samsung's latest case, filed in a federal court in San Jose, California, involves ten patent infringement claims.

The complaint says the patent issues "relate to fundamental innovations that increase mobile device reliability, efficiency, and quality, and improve user interface in mobile handsets and other products."

The report notes that specific patent claims include "ways that a phone allows calls and Internet surfing at the same time; improvements in how text messages and attachments are sent; reductions in interference among mobile devices; and increases in the capacity of mobile networks."

Samsung's filing seeks an injection against Apple and cash compensation, saying "Apple continues to violate Samsung’s patent rights by using these patented technologies without a license."

Samsung is the world's second largest holder of patents after IBM. It is flexing its patent muscle against Apple in response to legal complaints that alleged infringement of seven Apple patents related to behavior (including tough gestures) and three related to product design.

Apple's original complaint, filed April 18, stated, "Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products."

Samsung threatened legal retaliation the next day, noting that "Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but to respond strongly at this time."

Apple was Samsung's second largest client in 2010, generating 4 percent or $5.68 billion of its revenues. The group developing Samsung's offending "Galaxy" mobile products is not the same group that builds the components Apple uses or fabricates Apple's A4 and A5 mobile processors, but the two companies have been unable to reach a settlement on the copying issues, resorting to the courts instead.

Apple is similarly involved in bilateral lawsuits with Nokia, a war initiated by the Finnish phone maker in October 2009. Apple has alleged that Nokia has attempted to obtain greater licensing fees from it than other companies for technologies that are ostensibly offered by Nokia under "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" terms, and has subsequently countersued over claims that Nokia is also violating Apple's intellectual property.