Samsung counter-sues Apple in US court
Samsung Electronics says Apple's iPhone 5 infringes its patents, escalating a global fight over mobile devices after winning a court order lifting a ban on sales in the United States of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
The world's largest mobile-phone seller, based in Suwon, South Korea, added claims about the iPhone 5, which was released last month, to existing patent-infringement litigation between the two companies in federal court in San Jose, California. Apple won a US$1.05 billion jury verdict against Samsung on August 24 in a separate patent case in the same court.
"As soon as the iPhone 5 was available for purchase, Samsung began its investigation of the product," the company said in its court filing on Monday. The iPhone 5 infringed two standards patents and six features patents, Samsung said.
The world's two biggest makers of high-end phones have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are fighting patent battles on four continents to retain their dominance in the US$219 billion global smartphone market.
US District Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the litigation in California, on Monday rescinded a ban on US sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that she imposed in June.
Koh said there were no grounds for keeping the preliminary injunction in place after jurors concluded in their August 24 verdict that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple design patent that was the basis for the injunction.
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, contended the ban should remain in place because the jury found the Galaxy Tab infringed other patents at issue.
The case in which Samsung added the iPhone 5 claims is scheduled for trial in 2014.
Samsung's original complaint identifies the same eight patents as the basis for alleging infringement by earlier iPhone models, plus the iPad and iPod Touch.
Apple already has won a preliminary order from Koh blocking US sales of Samsung's Nexus smartphone.
In August, Apple added the Galaxy S III smartphone to its list of products that it says infringe its patents.
Apple said in a September 19 filing that it expected to add infringement claims about "recently released Samsung products, including the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and the Galaxy Note 10.1 device".
In the previous patent lawsuit between the two companies that went to trial in July, the jury found that Samsung infringed six of seven Apple patents at stake.
Koh has scheduled December hearings in that case to consider Apple's request for a permanent US sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1. She will also consider Samsung's bid to get the August verdict thrown out based on claims of juror misconduct.
Kristin Huguet, from Apple, declined to comment on the order rescinding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban and Samsung's filing adding the iPhone 5 infringement claims.