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Samsung, HTC Attempt iPhone 5 Ban Using LTE Patents

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 64 comments

HTC files a patent infringement suit against Apple for its LTE-capable iPhone 5, and Samsung may soon follow.

Although Apple scored a massive win against Samsung to the tune of a billion dollars last month, the war is far from won. The company has just released its iPhone 5, and rumors state that Samsung has it in its crosshairs.

The Galaxy S III may be a potent competitor to Apple's new iPhone, but an industry source reports the company may be looking to score some pay back.

“Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple," the source told Korea Times. "Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple’s home-turf ― are our primary targets.”

Although the LTE capability of Apple's new iPhone is finally a blessing for its customers, a number of different Android OEMs brought it out first. No lawsuit has been filed just yet, but the source says Samsung will sue based on a number of LTE patents.

Samsung may have established itself as Apple's biggest enemy when it comes to courtroom warfare, but Taiwan-based HTC may prove to be an even bigger thorn in Apple's side. Since the launch of the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon's LTE network, the company has been at the forefront of the LTE network, supplying LTE-capable devices for all major wireless networks.

Now, after filing an infringement suit against Apple based on a number of LTE patents, HTC could be in for a big win. Presiding Judge Thomas Pender recently told Apple, "Clear and convincing means something to me; I have to be pretty darn certain a US patent is invalid.”

Apple's iPhone hasn't had any LTE capability until now, but the company has already gathered 434 LTE patents of their own. Despite this, all Samsung or HTC needs is for a court to find Apple has infringed on one of their valid patents in order to have an injunction against the iPhone 5. Although it's unlikely either company will succeed before Apple racks up a majority of its sales, a court ordered injunction could result in a ban of iPhone 5 sales.

 

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 17, 2012 6:15 PM
    On a scale from zero to zero, I have to say I have zero sympathy for Apple when it comes to this...
  • 27 Hide
    Thisbymaster , September 17, 2012 5:50 PM
    *Dr. Evil* Mhahaahahahah I will hold their phones for ransom for one 100 billion dollars.
  • 27 Hide
    bustapr , September 17, 2012 5:49 PM
    I doubt anyone is surprised about this. Im all for the fall of apple, but I really do hate patent wars.

    just how many frikin patents are involved with LTE tech?!
Other Comments
    Display all 64 comments.
  • 27 Hide
    bustapr , September 17, 2012 5:49 PM
    I doubt anyone is surprised about this. Im all for the fall of apple, but I really do hate patent wars.

    just how many frikin patents are involved with LTE tech?!
  • 27 Hide
    Thisbymaster , September 17, 2012 5:50 PM
    *Dr. Evil* Mhahaahahahah I will hold their phones for ransom for one 100 billion dollars.
  • 5 Hide
    hannibal , September 17, 2012 5:53 PM
    We want competition! This petty patent war means that customers can not buy those phones they like most. It does not matter who manufactures them... All in all all this mean that new phones are more expensive. Even due legal costs or because there is no competition, because other player is out of the game due banning. We can not buy Samsung phones and now not even iPhones... Is there any law out there that says that this is illegal?

    *sigh*
  • 26 Hide
    memadmax , September 17, 2012 5:58 PM
    Might as well just pass a couple of suitcases full of money back and forth....
  • 24 Hide
    SR-71 Blackbird , September 17, 2012 6:06 PM
    Go Samsung!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 7 Hide
    Richeemxx , September 17, 2012 6:07 PM
    This is what I hate about these patent fights and the way things are setup.

    First I'm not big on the system as a whole. But I don't think companies should be able to use "standards" and FRAND patents as a means of extortion and that is what I get out of this.

    Second I hate that any company, Apple included, can piggy back off of those said patents and amass a huge market share a a fortune off said patents before anything can be done. A prime example is them using Motorola, Samsung, HTC ect patents to build their device, bring it to market and then say hey we aren't paying royalties.

    Now saying that, at least in the case of Motorola it sounded like they tried to reach terms under a FRAND agreement. But they didn't like those terms. In the case here it sounds like they are blatantly ripping off the other companies by not even trying to license the tech under FRAND terms. That to me should be grounds in and of itself for an injunction.
  • 20 Hide
    techcurious , September 17, 2012 6:08 PM
    ahhh.. reading this just made my day! :) 
  • 4 Hide
    joebob2000 , September 17, 2012 6:11 PM
    bustaprI doubt anyone is surprised about this. Im all for the fall of apple, but I really do hate patent wars. just how many frikin patents are involved with LTE tech?!


    Apple has 434 and Samsung has 819. HTC probably has a few hundred, and the other players may have a few hundred as well. Let's round it off and say there are probably close to 2,000 patents related to LTE.
  • 24 Hide
    bllue , September 17, 2012 6:13 PM
    I hope Apple loses. Hard.
  • 30 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 17, 2012 6:15 PM
    On a scale from zero to zero, I have to say I have zero sympathy for Apple when it comes to this...
  • 22 Hide
    afrobacon , September 17, 2012 6:16 PM
    I for one hope they succeed. Apple has been out for blood for some time now; they could use a swift kick in the $%@. One that would hopefully have them think twice before trolling.
  • 6 Hide
    techcurious , September 17, 2012 6:27 PM
    This reminds me of that Bully that got Body Slammed last year... love how the bully was dizzy and couldn't stand straight afterwards.. (Hope I can post links) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEqniEvNcnk I hope HTC/Samsung and others have what it takes to give Apple at least one body slam!
  • 7 Hide
    HDmac , September 17, 2012 6:35 PM
    sometimes I wish I could walk into that courtroom and tell everyone to f-off and go home lol. Patent/copyright wars are ridiculous.
  • -7 Hide
    halcyon , September 17, 2012 6:35 PM
    Apple should just buy Samsung and be done with it.

    ...spoken like a true iSheep. :D 
  • 10 Hide
    maxiim , September 17, 2012 6:44 PM
    So apple cant make sales based on their "product" for the isheep so they sue for patents/copyrights. Now that they are getting hit back, just the way it should be.
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , September 17, 2012 6:46 PM
    techcuriousThis reminds me of that Bully that got Body Slammed last year... love how the bully was dizzy and couldn't stand straight afterwards.. (Hope I can post links) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEqniEvNcnk I hope HTC/Samsung and others have what it takes to give Apple at least one body slam!


    Yep, that is exactly what Apple needs ! :-)
  • 7 Hide
    saturnus , September 17, 2012 6:55 PM
    joebob2000Apple has 434 and Samsung has 819. HTC probably has a few hundred, and the other players may have a few hundred as well. Let's round it off and say there are probably close to 2,000 patents related to LTE.


    The other players as you so off-handedly refer to are in fact the main drivers of the LTE technology in the first place. Namely first and foremost Nokia who hold by far the largest percentage of the over 3600 total LTE patents, but Motorola (now controlled by Google), Qualcomm and InterDigital holds large stakes in the pool of essential LTE patents. Samsung and HTC holds mainly non-essential patents but some essential patents for the technology. Apple does not hold any essential patents themselves.
  • 15 Hide
    societyofosiris75 , September 17, 2012 7:02 PM
    4G is FRAND but LTE is not.

    The titans of LTE are LG, Qualcomm, Motorola, Samsung. Everyone else has 5% or less. Royalties must be paid to use LTE as the network continues to expand having been accepted as the new standard in 4G communication. It is not surprising then that HTC has filed a suit against Apple for infrining on LTE and may likely win a ban against the iPhone 5 nor that Samsung will seek the same since Apple has gone after the Galaxy S3. What goes around comes around.
  • 6 Hide
    dalmvern , September 17, 2012 7:07 PM
    shm224I'm doubtful that HTC and Samsung will go ahead with a lawsuit against iPhone's LTE functionality. For one, US carriers won't like it - any ban on the new phone will adversely affect their bottom line. The US carriers have very little to gain from any injunction - in fact, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all came out against Apple's injunction against Samsung last year filing amicus briefs.


    Of course the providers are not going to want any kind of injunction on any phone. They make their money selling phone, but the simple fact is that they have no say in the matter. They are not the ones who hold the patents that are being infringed.

    I hate these petty lawsuit wars, but I will be interested to see what Apple gets nailed for infringing. I wonder if it will be something as petty as "rounded corners on a phone."
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