Samsung Attacks Apple In Australia, Japan

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Samsung has filed for fresh injunctions against Apple in Australia and Japan after setbacks in the US and Europe

In the latest round of its worldwide legal battle against Apple, Samsung has filed lawsuits to block the sales of the new iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan.

Meanwhle, Samsung has also filed an appeal against a decision last week to temporarily ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, according to reports.

New injunctions

Apple and Samsung are currently involved in more than 20 lawsuits in 10 countries over their mobile devices.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Samsung has already begun actions to block the iPhone 4S from being sold in Italy and France, and on Monday filed for preliminary injunctions to block the device in Japan and Australia.

Samsung said the injunction requests are intended to defend the company’s wireless telecommunications patents.

“We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung’s patents and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said in a statement.

“Samsung’s preliminary injunction request in Australia cites three patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and HSPA,” the company stated. The Japanese filing, meanwhile, cites one patent related to high-speed packet access (HSPA) and three related to user interfaces.

On Thursday the Australian Federal Court handed down a decision approving a preliminary injuction temporarily banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

Dutch decision

The ruling is accompanied by recent court decisions in the US, Germany and the Netherlands which have also upheld Apple’s side in the legal battle.

On Friday a Dutch court in The Hague turned down Samsung’s request for an injunction against Apple’s 3G products being sold in the Netherlands. The court also rejected Apple’s counterclaims in the case.

The Dutch court found that Samsung’s 3G patents were essential parts of standards that were to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, and thus argued that Apple and Samsung needed to come to a licensing agreement.

The ruling makes it unlikely that Samsung could win similar cases in the EU based on its 3G patent portfolio, according to industry observer Florian Mueller.

The decision is “a win for Apple but also relief for the industry because the judge upheld widespread understanding of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms in the use of patents,” Mueller said in a blog post.

FRAND terms

The Australian case is also likely to fail for similar reasons, Mueller argued.

“I believe Samsung’s attack on the iPhone 4S in Australia is doomed to fail because it relates to three patents declared essential to the 3G telecommunications standard,” he wrote. “On Friday, a Dutch judge already made it clear that Samsung can’t seek an injunction based on such patents, and I’d be extremely surprised if an Australian judge took a different perspective on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing commitments.”

He said the situation in Japan appears to be different, since the case involves user interface patents that do not appear to be subject to FRAND terms.

“Those user interface patents are presumably not subject to FRAND licensing commitments, in which case Samsung would be allowed to seek injunctions based on them and it would all depend on whether those patents will be upheld (since Apple will be sure to contest their validity) and actually infringed,” Mueller wrote.

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