Samsung to sue Apple over 4G LTE in iPhone 5

Samsung to sue Apple over 4G LTE in iPhone 5

Summary: The South Korean electronics giant is reportedly preparing to sue Cupertino over its upcoming handset, which it expects to feature 4G LTE connectivity patents that Samsung claims it owns.

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TOPICS: iPhone, 4G, Apple, Legal, Samsung
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Samsung Electronics will sue Apple over the release of its iPhone 5 for infringing on its fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity patents.

The Korea Times reported on Monday, citing industry sources, that Samsung has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based company with countries in Europe, and even the U.S. being their "primary targets".

The Korean electronics giant's move comes after reports on Monday said Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 featuring 4G LTE in South Korea, and that Apple had agreed with local mobile carriers to release the LTE-enabled iPhone on the local market for domestic telecommunications frequencies.

It is unlikely Apple will release the new iPhone using conventional third-generation (3G) networks, sources told the Korea Times.

"Apple claimed the existing 3G-related patents are standard essential patents (SEPs) according to our earlier commitment to the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. But the story is totally different when you talk about LTE patents. These are new and highly-valued," a source said in the article.

SK Telecom and KT will also face some difficulties in their marketing strategies for 4G LTE iPhone because of this legal attack, an industry executive, who declined to be named told the publication. 

In August, Samsung had been ordered by a U.S. jury to pay US$1.05 billion for violating Apple's design patents. Cupertino followed up this victory with a court request to ban sales of eight of Samsung's smartphones in the U.S., in addition to an existing ban on the Galaxy 10.1 tablet.

Topics: iPhone, 4G, Apple, Legal, Samsung

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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84 comments
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  • HTC sues Apple, or Motorola sues Apple, Google, sues Apple, Samsung sues ..

    What do all these actions have in common? They are just in time for holiday injunctions.
    jnffarrell
    • Repeat

      It's also a repeats of suing when the iPhone 4s came out which they failed at, they've been saying that since then too.
      donnalb
      • Different Patents.

        So different process.

        You do understand the difference between 3g and LTE/4G?

        Same as a rectangle and a rectangle with rounded corners.

        You get the idea.
        Bozzer
        • .

          you do understand 4g is FRAND yes?
          danjames2012
          • LTE isn't though

            according to what I read they are not classed as FRAND.

            That's what Samsung are going after the same as HTC.
            Little Old Man
          • Not yet

            Samsung suing Apple may actually put light on LTE needing to be FRAND (essential patent) category though. Which will help Apple.
            dave95.
          • Honest question

            Does FRAND work that way?

            Can a company just use technology from a non-frand patent, because they think it should be frand? Could the patent somehow get forced into frand agreement as the result of a lawsuit?
            Emacho
          • FRAND doesn't work that way

            FRAND is volunteered, not forced.
            FRAND gives a long term steady income.

            Neither HTC nor Samsung have submitted their LTE patents for FRAND.
            rhonin
          • Viewpoint is everything

            4g/LTE - is it FRAND or not? It all depends on your point of view. From Samsung's view, still liking it's $1.05 BILLION wounds, then no, the standard (that isn't yet a standard at all) is NOT part of the FRAND use agreement.

            But in the view of every other 4G/LTE handset maker that us including 4G/LTE technology (all under FRAND use) who are not/have not been sued - then the pseudo-standard IS included.

            This is Samsung sour grapes. They got whipped, so they want to take their ball and go home.
            TheBattman
          • At the end of the day you are talking rrubbish...

            We all laud the day the true zealots (clearly including you) face facts. Whether it's frand or not, the company using it pays a fee. Apple by definition of a lawsuit ain't paying anything and Samsung would like them to.

            On one hand we hear 'please don't copy our rectangle, and innovate'.. then we hear 'your innovation is frand, for everyone'. Have a look at what you're saying... it doesn't make any sense. Trust me.

            It's time everyone using the patent system for their own end, actually paid for the stuff themselves too. That would be fair, surely. Go Samsung, we love you. Your components have made the iphone truly reliable (apart from the crap battery life) and it's time folk stood up and hailed you.
            johnmckay
          • Talk about a zealot

            Apple has shown in the past that they are more than willing to pay FRAND rates and only refuse to pay inflated rates when they are supposed to pay FRAND. The fact that you made the statement 'please don't copy our rectangle,...' just shows you are blinded by your own bias and can't see the whole picture, not even in that case. Doesn't matter who it is, Apple, Samsung, Google, MS or anybody else, I believe if you use somebody elses IP without license you should be taken to court but the IP holder has to prove it. How can Samsung declare they are going to take Apple to court over something they don't even know if Apple is violating. If it's the only way to get LTE then it should be a standard. To announce they are filing suit against Apple before any info is even release shows how bad Samsung got their feelings hurt.
            non-biased
          • Lte not 4g

            You seem to not understand (as these articles do a great job of misinforming) that 4g and 4gLTE are two seperate technologies. The latter network requires use of devices of wich 10% of the patents are owned by Samsung.
            Rick Prieto
          • foolish.

            No, it's standard, Samsung want negotiating power with Apple... this is how they have to get it.. there is no other way.

            To say it wouldn't be happening anyway if the tables had been turned the other way is just foolish.
            frankieh
          • Yeah. Yours is skewed.

            Your view of this is completely skewed. You're obviously the Apple bandwagon. Do some research. Samsung practically owns 1/2 of all iPhones. A lot of Apple's hardware is from Samsung. Samsung didnt get whipped. It was an unbelievably retarded patent. A curve on a phone? Hm. Remind me not to add curves if I design a phone, I might get sued by the Hitler of phones. Wanna know who's going to be whipped at the end? Apple. Samsung could kill them. Take away the ARM processor and sue them for the release of the iPhone 5 with LTE which will create an import ban on iPhone 5s and the new iPad. Apple would be sucking the balls Samsung took home. Get out, Apple doesnt innovate, they invented about 15% of the iPhone. The other 85% was from Samsung and cydia developers which by the way, weren't credited or given a job. For example,WiFi Sync wasn't made by Apple. It was taken from a Cydia developer. They even directly took the icon he made and spiced it up with a fancy little glare and shaddowy band like most Apple icons are nowadays. Learn some facts about Apple before the bandwagon decides to roll on in.
            RCote09
          • This whole thing died off but brought up a question for me

            Samsung states they will file suit against Apple if the release an LTE version before they even know how it works. How can they be so sure that Apple will infringe on their IP if they don't know what Apple is doing? If the only way to implement LTE is through Samsung's patents wouldn't they become essential and fall under FRAND?
            non-biased
          • Frand.

            The F in FRAND is Fair, not Free.. Motorola convinced Judges that 2.50 per unit is fair under FRAND.. Even if these patents were all FRAND and I don't believe they are, that will still get Samsung their money back from Apple pretty quickly.
            frankieh
          • really

            When did they convince them of the 2.5% on the unit cost of the device? Does that mean that if you have wi-fi on a boeing 757, they would have to pay Motorola 2.5% of the aircraft. That is what Motorola is asking for?

            In Germany the court said Apple must pay something called Orange book prices, but I don't think that is 2.5% of the cost of the device.

            In the US, I thought that Judge Posner threw out the case.

            So where did they get the 2.5% judgment?
            holycow_z
          • haha

            I love it when you Apple fans start screaming "FRAND" when Apple gets sued over a patent. Apple is not immune to patent infringement, and not all LTE patents are Standard Essential... FRAND terms only apply to standard essential patents... I bet you haven't heard about HTC and their LTE patents either have you? Apple is about to get a taste of its own medicine and I can't wait- HTC might not have the balls to secure an injunction but I bet you Samsung does- And they Will, and they Should after all the BS patents Apple has sued them over, and after all the products they have had banned. Apple is going DOWN.
            jamz2277
          • well Apple did infringe Motorola's patent...

            ... in Germany on the push mail feature. Something strangely that came from pagers. In Germany Apple was blocked from offering the feature. It wasn't FRAND so the courts blocked Apple.

            But Apple has FRAND patents too and it hasn't attempted to use them against anyone inductively. That is the point, its not that Apple or Motorola or Samsung, shouldn't pay for these patents.

            Yes its likely that HTC has a good case against Apple, but its not clear if they are FRAND or not. If they are not FRAND then Apple could be in trouble. But it seems the inventor of those patents doesn't want to acknowledge them now in depositions and this causing issues for HTC. We will have to see how the ITC judge rules.

            You should also remember that Apple offered to license its patents to Samsung for would have worked out to some 525 million dollars and they refused. Even though Apple was properly licensing their patents on 3G. So Samsung wanted to and did get paid by Apple on its 3G patents (because Apple bought the chips from Intel and Qualcomm), but Samsung in turn did not want to pay Apple for its patents. I dont' get that. Why does Samsung feel it should get paid for its patents on 3G but not have to pay for Apple's design and utility patents.
            holycow_z
          • FRAND...

            Apple may have a few patents that are considered FRAND, but they don't have many SEP's, which are what FRAND is truly meant to protect. The standard technologies that every device needs for basic operation. Apple has about 3000 patents, 1100 of which are related to mobile devices. now compare that to the nearly 20000 of companies like Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm & AT&T.

            FRAND is mainly there to protect consumers from monopoly's that could arise from refusing to cross license the standards type technologies that are adopted & collaboratively worked on in committees like the 3GPP & IMT-Advanced. Apple does very little in these areas traditionally as they are more a design company with a few engineers, whereas Qualcomm is an Engineering company with a few designers.
            George Leon