Last week it was Apple Vs Motorola. Today it’s back to bashing big bad Samsung and their new Google Nexus smartphone.Apple, who have so much money in the bank that their legal costs come out of the daily interest (which on $97 Billion I have calculated at around $20 Million a day) appear to be ready to fight with anybody including Motorola, whose patents they are said to be breaching.
On Friday, Apple asked a Californian court to issue a preliminary injunction to block sales of Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus smartphone, alleging the device infringes four Apple patents. At the start of the week Apple was fighting Motorola when they launched a new “antisuit lawsuit” aimed at unravelling Motorola’s litigation efforts which attempts to block sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S using standards essential patents. Apple is also asking for damages that could reach multibillion-dollar figures.
In its patent battles with Apple, Motorola chose to rely upon its standards essential patents that are required to build GSM/GPRS/UMTS compatible devices, and committed to FRAND licensing because of that fact. Rather than negotiating the “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” royalty rates the company has committed to as a member of the 3GPP standards body, Motorola has invented a new legal strategy.
Apple Insider said that Motorola first cancelled elements of its patent license with baseband chipmaker Qualcomm, then insisted Apple had to license the technology supplied by Qualcomm’s chips on its own, under terms intended to extract more than a billion dollars per year, perpetually, just for using chips that were already properly licensed to be used for that purpose.
Because Apple won’t agree to give Motorola billions of dollars based on a percentage of the total value of the iPhones and other 3G-capable devices it sells that use Qualcomm baseband chips, Motorola is seeking to block sales of Apple products in a variety of countries, including efforts that temporarily forced Apple to remove products from its shelves and then later restock them.
Apple’s latest legal action in U.S. District Court accuses Samsung of violating patents that are distinguishing features of the iPhone. One patent, for example, covers a function known as slide-to-unlock, in which customers gain access to their phones by sliding an image of a button across the screen.
Another patent claims the Wall Street Journal covers technology for searching multiple sources of information at once, an element of a voice-search technology called Siri introduced last year. Siri uses the function when customers speak into their phones, and are given responses that gather information from the phone and several different websites. Apple argued the Galaxy Nexus acts in the same way when customers type in their requests into the device’s search function.
Apple also said Samsung violated a patent for detecting bits of information, such as a phone number in an email, that customers can tap on to quickly to make a phone call. In December, the International Trade Commission banned Android phones made by HTC Corp. that the agency said violated that patent.
The fourth Apple patent cited in the suit covers technology for suggesting words if a customer misspells them while typing on a smartphone.
Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Korean company has denied copying Apple’s technology in the past, and has filed suits of its own accusing Apple of patent infringement.