This was pretty inevitable; Samsung’s following up on legal actions it’s taken in other countries with a countersuit against Apple, alleging it infringes seven Australian patents held by Samsung. Samsung filed the motion on Friday and issued the following statement to media on Saturday. As with the other legal actions running worldwide, there’s a range of issues at stake; Samsung’s not only alleging that Apple products ranging back as far as the original iPhone 3G infringe on its patents, but also that the patents that Apple’s using in its fight against Samsung are invalid. The full media release is below.
Media Statement from Samsung Electronics
On September 16 2011, Samsung Electronics filed a cross claim with the Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales Registry regarding two things:
1. Apple Inc.'s infringement of 7 Australian patents owned by Samsung related to wireless communications standards by the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 products; and 2. that the patents that Apple Inc. relies on in its claims against Samsung in relation to the GALAXY Tab 10.1 are invalid and should be revoked by the Court.
Samsung has a proud history of innovation in the mobile industry. It has invested continuously in R&D, design and technology to produce our innovative and cutting-edge mobile devices. To defend our intellectual property, Samsung filed a cross claim for Apple’s violation of its wireless technology patents.
Patents Asserted by Samsung: (a) Australian Patent No. 765735; (b) Australian Patent No. 2005239657; (c) Australian Patent No. 722598; (d) Australian Patent No. 751376; (e) Australian Patent No. 2005213087, (f) Australian Patent No. 2005202512; and (g) Australian Patent No. 2006241621.
Accused Products: · iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2
For those who like the specific nitty gritty, a quick patent search reveals that Patent #765735 relates to "Apparatus and method for encoding/decoding transport format combination indicator in CDMA mobile communication system", #2005239657 is for "Method and apparatus for transmitting and receiving data with high reliability in a mobile communication system supporting packet data transmission", #722598 is "Turbo encoding/decoding device and method for processing frame data according to QoS", #751376 is "Apparatus and method for controlling a demultiplexer and a multiplexer used for rate matching in a mobile communication system" #2005213087 is "Apparatus and method for allocating OVSF codes and I/Q channels for reducing Peak-To-Average Power Ratio in transmitting data via enhanced up-link dedicated channels in WCDMA systems" #2005202512 is "Method and apparatus for data transmission in a mobile telecommunication system supporting enhanced uplink service" and finally #2006241621 is "Method and apparatus for transmitting/receiving packet data using pre-defined length indicator in a mobile communication system". Amongst other things, just the titles alone make me glad I'm not a patent lawyer.
Updated: I did mention that I'm not a patent expert, right? ITNews quotes patent expert Florian Mueller, who reckons that (despite what to a layman appear to be a serious lump of patent armoury), Samsung's case may be weak, essentially because the patents it cites could be used broadly across the whole mobile industry. ITNews quotes Florian as saying that:
It's highly problematic, and utterly desperate, to try to use such patents as a retaliatory arsenal. It shows that Samsung is unable to counter Apple's claims appropriately. If those patents are indeed essential to standards in the creation of which Samsung participated, it has an obligation to license them to Apple on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, while Apple doesn't have any such obligation with respect to its iPhone/iPad-related patents."