If you have just recycled your mobile phone and got your first smartphone you will be only too aware just what a competitive market it is. You will also know that Samsung have a huge presence in the smartphone world and that Apple’s iPhone is a strong competitor. In a market where the stakes are so high it is hardly surprising that these two technology giants are engaged in a fierce battle to determine patent rights.
Apple and Samsung are locked in several legal battles across different territories. One such law suit concerns the technology Samsung have used with their Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Apple brought a claim against Samsung in February requesting a ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, claiming that the device infringed several of Apple’s patents. As a result the US court enforced a pre-trial ban on sales of the Galaxy Nexus.
Samsung reacted with an immediate appeal but lost and the ban was not lifted. They then began working to deliver a software patch to the Galaxy Nexus to circumvent the patent issue, with the aim being to get the Galaxy Nexus back on the shelves regardless of the outcome of the court case.
However, Samsung then gained a small victory. A US Appeals Court overruled the previous judgement and temporarily revoked the ban on sales of the Nexus. Samsung are not off the hook yet though it is only a temporary measure that the Galaxy Nexus ban is lifted to allow time for Apple to provide information to the court which will help them make a decision as to whether or not there has been a patent infringement by Samsung.
Samsung have had less luck regarding their tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has also been the subject of a court case. In the case of that device the court did not lift the ban on sales.
Other cases are being fought between Apple and Samsung. The flagship of the Samsung smartphone range, the Galaxy S3 is also the subject of a patent dispute and Samsung have rolled out an update to disable certain functions of that device as a precaution to limit the damage to sales should Apple win the court case against them.
With the case concerning the Galaxy S3 the chiefs of Apple and Samsung met for conciliatory talks by order of a US Court. There were hopes that face-to-face negotiations between these two competing companies would bring an out-of-court settlement. Unfortunately the second round of these mediations ended in disagreement. The two parties are in disagreement as to the negotiating power each one brings to the table based on their intellectual property portfolio. Apple argue that Samsung own lower-value patents and Samsung believe their patents for future technologies such as 4G give them more negotiating power. The upshot of it all is that it remains the job of the courts to decide the law suit surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S3. The case will be heard on 30th August.
Until then the battle between these two giants continues to rage.