It’s the battle of the tech titans. And it looks about to get whole lot worse, with news that Samsung are to counter sue iPad makers Apple just days after it was slapped with a lawsuit for copying the “look and feel” of its iPad and iPhone.
Click to enlarge
Steve Jobs’ giant filed a patent infringement claim on April 15 against Korean giant, Samsung, claiming its Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, Nexus S and Galaxy Tab violate Apple’s intellectual property.
“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” Apple alleges.
What is so interesting about this latest lawsuit over patent rights is that Samsung already make chips for Apple products (including A4 and A5 processors found in the iPhone and iPad 2), and are one of its biggest clients, so the legal battle may be bad for business, something a Samsung official acknowledged yesterday.
“Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels.
However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time,” one figure told reporters.
So, as Samsung’s second biggest client, behind Sony, Apple could be looking to possibly to get some cash knocked off its billion dollar bill ($6bn last year) it racks up with the Korean giant annually or else just to stop one of its biggest rivals from gaining ground.
Apple business accounts for 4 per cent of its revenue annually, totalling 154.6 trillion won or $142bn last year.
“It’s another arrow in their [Apple’s] quiver to slow down their closest competitor,” believes Edward Snyder, an analyst for Charter Equity Research told the Wall Street Journal.
And if Steve Jobs company are successful, what will this mean for their business relationship?
However, it may not come to that and Snyder expects the two companies to
eventually settle out of court. This would also be in Apple’s interests
as supply of components is already a major issue following the
earthquake in Japan.
However, the Galaxy makers have now fought back, denying any wrongdoing or patent plagiarism, and claim its work is fully its own.
“Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property,” the South Korean firm said in a statement.
In fact, there is talk in the Samsung camp that the Silicon Valley giant may have nicked some of its wireless technology patents, accordingto reports, although no official claims have been lodged.
Samsung is number 2 in the tab market after the iPad, although a very distant second, and it is due to release its much anticipated Galaxy S II smartphone in a matter of weeks.
So the question is, if the case goes to court could Apple face supply issues of its iPad 2 and forthcoming iPhone 5 as a result?