By Kim Yoo-chul
A global patent expert has said Samsung Electronics will counterattack Apple’s plan to file a lawsuit in the United States asking for a sales ban on the Korean firm’s latest smartphone once the next iPhone is unveiled.
“There’s no question that Samsung will pay back in kind, and the iPhone 5 will definitely be a priority target,” said noted patent blogger Florian Mueller in an email interview with The Korea Times.
Mueller is well-versed in patent law and founder of the Foss Patents website. He has been closely monitoring the Samsung-Apple dispute.
The interview was conducted after Samsung Electronics announced its plan to push for the sale of its latest Galaxy SIII in the United States despite Apple’s threat. The new Galaxy was launched in 28 countries in Europe and the Middle East in May.
“Samsung’s product innovation cycles are way faster than the U.S. legal system. Apple filed for an injunction against the Nexus phone in February but by now the Galaxy SIII looks like a much hotter product. Apple is well aware of the incredibly high levels of pre-launch orders around the globe and mentions those numbers in its filing,” Mueller told the newspaper on Friday.
Citing media reports, Apple insists that Samsung has nine million pre-orders for the Galaxy SIII and said the handset is reported to be the most extensively pre-ordered piece of consumer electronics in history.
No reliable Samsung source would comment on whether the Korean firm will also file a sales injunction for the next iPhone or other Apple devices.
However, Samsung said in a statement, “ The sales injunction request filed by Apple to a court in the United States is hurting consumers’ choice for Samsung’s latest distinctive product.” Apple plans to launch new features for its iPhone and would introduce its popular voice recognition application — Siri — for its iPad at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WDC) next week, according to reports.
“I believe Apple wants a license deal under which Samsung pays for the use of a first group of patents, promises to use a second group of patents only in restricted ways and doesn’t make any use of a third group of patents Apple wants to keep exclusively in order to ensure the uniqueness of its products,” Mueller claimed.
Apple spokesman Steve Park declined to comment about the issue.
“Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said that Apple doesn’t want to be ‘the developer for the world.’ It’s consistent with that philosophy that Apple targets what will probably be the most exciting and best-selling Android-based product ever,” Mueller said.
“Apple knows that it ultimately needs to compete with the S III in the marketplace, but if the courts forced Samsung to modify the product, its launch might be delayed and its appeal to consumers could be reduced, which would make things easier for Apple especially with a view to the iPhone 5.”