Money Matters - Simplified

Samsung loses battle in Netherlands, court allows sale of iPhones & iPads

Analysts say that Samsung should focus on challenging Apple in the market with an innovative product, rather than trying to seek patent injunctions which seem to be getting the company nowhere.

A Dutch court has ruled in favor of Apple, allowing the company to sell its iPhones and iPads in Netherlands, turning down Samsung’s request for a ban.

With Samsung quite confident about Apple infringing upon its wireless communications technology, the South Korean company was optimistic that it would be able to persuade the Dutch government to bar the sale of iPhones and iPads.

However, it turns out that the Dutch court was not open to the idea of banning iPhones or iPads.

According to the civil court, the argument that Apple had copied Samsung’s patented wireless communications technology and was not authorized to use it did not hold much water.

Lawyers for Apple had argued last month that Samsung’s injunction was simply an act of retaliation by the South-Korean company after Apple accused it of copying design of its products.

Wireless communications technology a worldwide standard
It emphasized that the 3G wireless communications technology was a worldwide standard, and Samsung should offer licenses to Apple on the basis of FRAND – fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory – terms.

In addition, it said that the licensing fee that Samsung was charging Apple went beyond FRAND terms and it was quite clear that Samsung was not ready to issue any licenses to Apple or enter into a FRAND agreement in the first place.

Samsung has the right to file a patent suit seeking ban of iPhones and iPads only if Apple refuses a reasonable licensing fees offer made by Samsung.

Samsung’s lawsuit: an act of retaliation?
Lawyers for Apple had argued last month that Samsung’s injunction was simply an act of retaliation by the South-Korean company after Apple accused it of copying design of its products.

It should be remembered that Apple had filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung in April, alleging that Samsung had blatantly copied product design and packaging of Apple smartphones.

Apple sought a ban on Galaxy Tab in several countries, and has so far been successful in barring the sales of the Tab in Australia, where the Australian court ruled in favor of Apple.

The patent battle between Samsung and Apple is going on unabated in several countries, and it remains to be seen what Samsung will now do to protect its technologies which it claims have been copied.

Analysts say that Samsung should focus on challenging Apple in the market with an innovative product, rather than trying to seek patent injunctions which seem to be getting the company nowhere.