Samsung, HTC Attempt iPhone 5 Ban Using LTE Patents

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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Tuan Mai
Tuan Mai is a Los Angeles based writer and marketing manager working within the PC Hardware industry. He has written for Tom's Guide since 2010, with a special interest in the weird and quirky.
  • bustapr
    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?!
  • Thisbymaster
    *Dr. Evil* Mhahaahahahah I will hold their phones for ransom for one 100 billion dollars.
  • hannibal
    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?

  • memadmax
    Might as well just pass a couple of suitcases full of money back and forth....
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Go Samsung!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I'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.
  • Richeemxx
    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.
  • techcurious
    ahhh.. reading this just made my day! :)
  • joebob2000
    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.
  • bllue
    I hope Apple loses. Hard.