Samsung seeks Aussie iPhone 4S ban

Summary:Apple's local success with the iPhone 4S may be short lived, with Samsung today filing a motion for an injunction in the Federal Court of New South Wales to block the device, as well as the previous model, the iPhone 4, and the iPad 2.

update Apple's local success with the iPhone 4S may be short lived, with Samsung today filing a motion for an injunction in the Federal Court of New South Wales to block the device, as well as the previous model, the iPhone 4, and the iPad 2.

Samsung filed the preliminary injunction motion in a Sydney court today, as well as in a Japanese court to ban the three Apple products in Australia and Japan.

Samsung is claiming that the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 infringe on three patents in Australia and four in Japan. The Australian patents protect data-transmission methods, while the Japanese patents protect user interface designs and power consumption.

Australian patents include:

  • Method and apparatus for transmitting/receiving packet data using pre-defined length indicator in a mobile communication system (WCDMA)
  • Method and apparatus for data transmission in a mobile telecommunication system supporting enhanced uplink service (HSPA)
  • Method and apparatus for transmitting and receiving data with high reliability in a mobile communication system supporting packet data transmission (HSPA).

Japanese patents include:

  • One HSPA patent, which relates to a method for deciding the amount of power consumption during data transmission
  • Three user interface patents that are essential for displaying information on the screen, specifically UIs for the "in flight mode" indicator (aeroplane icon); for customising a smartphone's home screen; and for browsing applications categorised in a tree structure (in an app store).

Samsung may be in for a rude shock however, after patent expert Florian Müller said that the Korean-based gadget manufacturer has little chance of getting the ban it wants in Australia.

"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. 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.

"The odds are very long against Samsung overcoming all of Apple's defences," Müller concluded in his blog post.

Apple won a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 last week in a Sydney court, with a full patent case to be held in the future over the original matter, filed in court in August.

This latest action is part of a legal tit-for-tat battle between the two parties. Samsung already has a cross claim filed in the Federal Court against Apple for patent infringement in the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 2.

Importers have been capitalising on Samsung's losses since the injunction was granted last week.

Updated at 5:12pm, 17 October 2011: added comment from Florian Müller.

Topics: Apple, Legal, Mobility, Samsung

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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