Samsung: Apple refused to negotiate to license 3G patents

Apple and Samsung started patent trial in Federal Court in Australia on Monday

Samsung Electronics accused Apple of refusing to enter into negotiations to license essential 3G patents included in the iPhone and iPad during the first day of their patent trial on Monday in Federal Court in Sydney.

In Australia, Apple filed suit against Samsung in July 2011, alleging that the company's Galaxy tablet infringed on patents related to touchscreen technology. Samsung subsequently filed a cross-claim against Apple, claiming violation of three 3G data transmission patents in Apple's iPhone 4 and 4S models and second iPad model.

Monday's hearing focused on two of the three patents -- Australian patents No. 2005202512 and No. 2006241621 -- that Samsung alleges Apple has violated. The two patents deal with power control and the format of packet headers used for 3G data transmissions. The court will address patent No. 2005239657, which deals with rate matching patterns used in data transmission, in August.

Apple's relationship with Samsung broke down after Apple filed a lawsuit in California in April 2011 against Samsung related to the Galaxy tablet, Samsung's attorney Neil Young said. Samsung had offered to negotiate with Apple to license the patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

"Our position is Apple has refused to engage in negotiations," Young said.

Samsung asked Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett to separate the company's cross-claim hearings from Apple's tablet allegation. The trial is scheduled to run through the end of the week, with other sessions scheduled through October.

Apple and Samsung are engaged in long-running legal battles in several countries. In the U.S. last Thursday, Samsung lost an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to stay a preliminary injunction banning the sale of the company's Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Earlier in the month, Samsung was also denied by a U.S. District Court a stay on a preliminary injunction against sales in the U.S. of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone running Android.

In the U.K., a judge ruled on July 9 that Samsung's tablets do not infringe on a registered Apple design because "they are not as cool" and that the Galaxy Tablets do not have the extreme simplicity of Apple's iPad.

In that case, Samsung sought a declaration that three of its tablets -- the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 -- do not infringe on Apple's registered iPad design.

In the Netherlands on June 20, Apple was found to have infringed on Samsung's 3G patents by using Intel and Infineon baseband chips in the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 and the iPad 1 and 2. The court ruled Apple caused harm to Samsung since August 2010 by using the chips without paying a license fee.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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