Apple and Samsung tussle over patents rights

Category: WTO Sub-category: Intellectual Property
Document type: news

16-Feb-2012 | 11:35 IST | Edited by: Sharmila Maitra

The South Korean device maker, Samsung has been embroiled in patent fights with Apple for quite a while now as Apple is accusing Samsung for infringement of patents it owns on its iOS devices, such as the iPhone or iPad.

Apple however has failed to obtain a temporary ban in Germany on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N and it's Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The decision by the Munich Regional Court,in Germany  has come one day after an appeals court in Dusseldorf ruled in favor of Apple's request to ban the previous Samsung tablet model, the Galaxy Tab 10.1.But Apple has not  given up yet and has filed a petition in a lower Dusseldorf court which is scheduled to rule next week on a separate case Apple filed over the Galaxy 10.1N.

Samsung is not having a good time as far as legal issues are concerned. Samsung has already lost two patent rulings against it's rival. Samsung, has in it's defense shown that it is more likely the patents will be revoked because of a technology that was already in the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection this logic was however bought by the Munich Regional court. But the European Commission has announced that it will investigate whether Samsung broke a 1998 commitment to license any standard essential patent rules for phones on unfair, unreasonable, non-discriminatory terms or FRAND RULES.

FRAND rules apply to patents owned by companies that are essential for other companies to do business in that same industry. The European Commission has already began fully investigating Samsung. This seems like it probably spells the end of Samsung's attempts to use its 3G patents to combat Apple's more successful attacks against its Android device-making rival. As far as the markets are concerned both Apple and Samsung are neck to neck in terms of smartphone market share right now. Neither Apple nor Samsung are yet to comment on the given   respective verdict.

Some disputes of similar structure include: dispute over patent infringement between Apple and Motorola Mobility holding Inc. over mobile phone devices another one of similar kind would be a dispute between Nokia and Apple over the patent rights of an Irish phone-Nokia had filed a petition against Apple in the court of law which it has won.

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Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsungbrand. Notable Samsung industrial subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics (the world's largest information technology company measured by 2010 revenues), Samsung Heavy Industries (the world's second-largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (respectively the world's 35th- and 72nd-largest construction companies).

Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products are the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.