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Samsung Wins 3G Patent Case over Apple

Source: Samsung Group Headquarters at Samsung Town, Seoul/ Wikipedia

After winning a 3G patent dispute in The Hague District Court in the Netherlands, Samsung is said to seek compensation from Apple. As the company posted in a press release prior to the publication of the court’s decision:

Samsung welcomes the decision of the court in The Hague, which again confirms that Apple makes use of our technological innovations. In accordance with this statement, we will recover adequate damages that Apple and its products have caused.

Violating the European Patent 1188269

According to the court, the Cupertino-based company was found infringing on European Patent 1188269. The said patent is also known as “Apparatus for Encoding a Transport Format Combination Indicator for a Communication System.” The recent news suggests that Apple has been found to violate at least one of Samsung’s patents on older iPads and iPhones using baseband chips from companies other than Qualcomm.

The patent in question is called FRAND, which should be licensed under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Simply put, Samsung cannot seek a ban on Apple device sales or import. It was reported that the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the original iPad, and the new iPad was found to have infringed Samsung’s 3G patent.

Due to this, the South Korean electronics company will “recover adequate damages” from the iPhone maker in compliance with the court’s ruling. Samsung further stated that the decision validates “that Apple makes free use of out technological innovations.”

Last year, Samsung’s request to cease the sales of iPhone and iPad was denied by a judge in Netherlands. The request is based on four patents that are believed to be essential for 3G. That decision is also based on Samsung’s 3G patents. Nevertheless, they can now collect damages from it.

Nothing but a Consolation Prize

Their legal victory in the Netherlands is one of the few lawsuits that they won over during their ongoing spat against Apple. Samsung is still facing litigations against the iPhone maker, with complaints spanning across ten countries.

However, FOSS Patents’ intellectual property expert Florian Mueller said in his analysis that Samsung’s victory is just a “consolation prize.” It only amounts to a “symbolic” victory for the company.

Tiny amounts of money won’t get Apple to settle. Samsung was trying hard to win an injunction, but failed. From a strategic point of view, it had already lost 99.9% of these cases even before today’s liability ruling came down. This really is nothing more than symbolic.

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