Apple may have come out on top when a jury ruled that dozens of Samsung phones infringed on Apple patents and trade dress, but that doesn’t mean Samsung and other Android OEMs will simply let the new iPhone 5 hit the market without a bit or resistance. There are at least a dozen Android powered devices being prepped to battle the iPhone 5 in the marketplace, but HTC and Samsung may be holding trump cards that could give them a legal edge to block the iPhone 5 from ever hitting store shelves.
It turns out that the iPhone 5 will be using the LTE radio standard for high-speed data transfer – a standard based on hundreds of different patents, some of which are held by HTC and Samsung. According to an industry source, “Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple’s home-turf ― are our primary targets.” Samsung has not taken any legal action yet, but we expect a patent infringement lawsuit to be filed in the following weeks.
On the HTC side, the legal battle is already under way. HTC has presented its patent claims before a US International Trade Commission Judge. The legal battle is still playing out, but Judge Thomas Pender has let Apple know that “Clear and convincing means something to me; I have to be pretty darn certain a US patent is invalid,” when Apple lawyers disputed the validity of HTC’s LTE patents. HTC has been on the forefront of LTE since it launched the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon’s LTE network in 2011 and has supplied LTE-enabled devices for all major LTE networks across the globe.
We doubt that the courts will move fast enough to issue a preliminary injunction against Apple, which would hinder the initial launch of the iPhone 5, but it does look like Apple will be on the defensive this time around. Apple has 434 LTE patents of its own, but all Samsung and HTC need is for Apple to infringe on one of their patents to justify a court ordered injunction against the iPhone 5.
While many of you would be thrilled to see Apple suffer at the hands of Samsung and HTC, we hope the parties involved will use this as an opportunity to settle their legal differences once and for all and set up cross-licensing agreements, so they can all compete with their products rather than spend millions of dollars on lawyers. We can all agree that the patent wars within the mobile space have gotten completely out of hand.
What do you think will happen if iPhone 5 sales are banned from the US and Europe?
Looking for more Android vs Apple news? Did you know that last week it was announced that the Galaxy S III has beat out iPhone 4S as top selling device in US? You do now. Curious how the new iPhone 5 compares to Android? We’ve got that too.