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Samsung: The iPhone is Free-Riding on Our Innovations!

Samsung: The iPhone is Free-Riding on Our Innovations!

The battle between Samsung and Apple rages on, with each side claiming that the other is violating their patents/designs. In a statement made during U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings, Samsung now claims that Apple is simply free-riding on their innovations, essentially labeling the iPhone as stolen property (via Bloomberg, Mac Observer).

A lawyer representing Samsung argued to a U.S. judge today that Apple was careless when they introduced the iPhone, and used a number of Samsung technologies (4 patents in particular) without making any attempt to pay for the usage of those ideas.

All of these things that Samsung built up, Apple was using when it entered the market. Apple, in 2007, when they decided to enter an industry they’d never been in before, didn’t even inquire of there was a license they needed to take.

Samsung accuses Apple of infringing on four of their patents. As usual in these types of cases, however, the matter is not as simple as it seems. The four patents are deemed to be “standards essential” – technology that has become a standard, and that is required for the operation of certain types of devices. As such, Samsung is obligated to license the under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms.

Apple contends that Samsung failed to point out any patent violations for over four years – right up until Apple sued them for “slavishly” copying their designs. Apple also claims that Samsung refuses to license the patents to them in a fair and reasonable manner. Lawyers for Samsung content that they have made reasonable offers, but Apple has voiced numerous times that this is completely untrue.

Of course, accusing Apple of free-riding on their “innovations” may not be the wisest move for a company that seems to have made a habit of shamelessly ripping Apple’s designs at every available opportunity (examples: 123456, 7, 8 – I could go on…)….

And so the battle rages on, perhaps until the end of time itself, issuing a definitive slap in the face to the pacifist question: Can’t we all just get along?