Samsung Claims Apple Has Been ‘Free Riding’ On Its Patents

Samsung Stepping Up Its Game

Just a few days ago, Samsung execs anonymously revealed that the company planned to get the iPhone 5 and all other iOS devices banned in Korea. Today, in an interview with the Associated Press a Samsung exec has come on record and spoken about their newly adopted approach to tackle Apple’s lawsuits by, well, filing more lawsuits. Samsung claims that they have a number of essential patents in the field of wireless communications on which Apple has been “free riding”.

Till now Apple has enjoyed an upper hand in the ongoing patent litigation, managing to get Samsung’s products banned in a number of countries like Germany, Netherlands and Australia.

Lee Younghee, head of global marketing for mobile communications for Samsung in the interview admitted that till now Samsung has adopted a passive approach in dealing with Apple’s lawsuit keeping in mind their business relationship. She says:

“We’ll be pursuing our rights for this in a more aggressive way from now on. We’ve been quite respectful and also passive in a way. However, we shouldn’t be … anymore.”

One such patent that Samsung believes Apple is infringing covers how a user can speak over the phone and receive an email at the same time.

A Dutch court confirmed today that the Korean company has filed a lawsuit against Apple asserting intellectual property violation. There however seems to be hope for Apple, if its lawyers can successfully prove that Samsung’s patents relating to 3G technology are essential and should be available for licensing under fair terms.

Apple in response to Lee’s comments reiterated Steve Jobs’ statement:

“It is no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Apple is also working on building ties with new suppliers to reduce its dependence on Samsung, which would allow it to engage in litigation with the company more freely.

Any predictions over how this will end?

[via Bloomberg, Business Week]