The smartphone patents war has taken a new twist as Samsung has launched a new legal battle against Apple’s iPhone 5.Apple faces becoming embroiled in a further US patent clash after Samsung said it intended to sue the firm over technology in the new iPhone 5.
Meanwhile, efforts continue to resolve Apple’s earlier victory over Samsung as Apple is expected to ask the judge to treble a jury’s $1.05 billion damages award.
A jury in California drew up the figure last month after ruling that the South Korean firm had infringed several of its rival’s software and design patents.
Apple now has the right to request that damages are increased since the jury said Samsung’s actions had been “wilful”.
As the South Korean firm has indicated that it intends to appeal, both Apple and Samsung are due to file paperwork in the case on 21 September.
A hearing had also been scheduled to consider Samsung’s request that a US sales ban on some of its tablet computers should be dropped.
The judge indicated she would have granted the request, but said that since Samsung had taken its appeal against the ban to a higher court it was no longer in her power to do so.
Samsung has filed paperwork with a California court saying it intends to extend complaints made against existing Apple handsets to include the new device. It indicated that it believed at least eight of its US patents had been infringed.
A statement from Samsung said: “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms.”
“However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”
The amount of litigation that the firms are now involved in is a concern.
From Apple’s perspective you reap what you sow. It started this by filing lawsuits about patents relating to unique software features, and it now faces allegations that hardware parts of its devices infringe others’ technologies – they would be much harder to change if it loses.
Fighting litigation is always a drain on resources. Apple has a large amount of cash, but you have to ask whether the money would be better spent on R&D than lawyers.