Samsung and Apple clash in Dutch court

Judge is expected to make ruling on Oct. 14

The legal battle between Apple and Samsung continued on Monday in a district court hearing in The Hague, Netherlands, during which the two companies argued the merits of four Samsung patents.

The patents are related to methods of managing the data connection and speed between a mobile station, such as a smartphone or tablet, and a network base station, and are presented as being standards-essential, which means they are incorporated in internationally accepted technology standards -- in this case 3G and UMTS.

Standards-essential patents are usually licensed under so-called Fair, Reasonable, and Non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, which is what the hearing in the Dutch court on Monday focused on.

During a day of heated arguments, both companies tried to convince the court of their respective position.

Samsung wants Apple to pay for licensing the patents in question, and wants the court to issue an injunction banning the import and sales of Apple’s iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2 and upcoming products until licensing terms are in place.

Samsung claims that it has tried to negotiate a licensing agreement in good faith but that Apple has sabotaged any serious negotiations, according to an IDG correspondent reporting from the courtroom.

Apple, on the other hand, did its best to undermine the importance of Samsung’s patents and how they were disclosed, while also saying that Samsung isn’t willing to agree on FRAND terms. The company also sees no reason for the court to slap it with an injunction since the two are negotiating a licensing agreement.

The judge is expected to present his ruling on whether Samsung has a case on Oct. 14, according to a spokeswoman at the court.

Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in a worldwide legal fight covering cases in Asia, Europe and North America.

The battle in the Netherlands heated up about a month ago when Apple won a ban on the shipping of three Samsung Galaxy smartphones to Europe as of Oct. 13. Samsung saw the ruling as a victory because it was only related to photo management, and not the design of its smartphones.

(Andreas Udo de Haes at Webwereld Netherlands contributed to this report from the courtroom)

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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