We might soon need a treatise to keep track of the cross-continent litigation between Apple and Samsung.
In the latest lawsuit piled onto an already complex series of legal actions that span the globe, Samsung this week filed a complaint against Apple in France alleging that the iPhone and iPad infringe upon three of its technology patents.
Now the operative phrase here is “technology patents” as the recent injunctions attained by Apple against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in both Germany and Australia are based on design patents which relate to the actual form factor of the device.
In any event, the patents at issue here reportedly pertain to UMTS technology. Notably, Samsung has asserted similar patents against Apple in their US litigation. To that end, Apple has previously explained that the UMTS patents Samsung asserts are part of established technological standards and therefore need to be made available for licensing to Apple on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
In other words, if Samsung’s UMTS patents are, in fact, part of the UMTS standard, they cannot wield those patents offensively and must instead offer them to competitors for a fair licensing fee.
Apple hasn’t yet replied to Samsung’s latest legal action so we can’t say with any certainty which patents Samsung is asserting, but given its slick maneuvering in the current US case, we wouldn’t be surprised if the UMTS patents Samsung is holding over Apple’s head are the same ones it’s bringing up in the California case.