Thankfully, Samsung’s disingenuous efforts to wield its RAND encumbered patents against Apple seems to be falling short. One week ago, a court in the Netherlands ruled that Samsung cannot pursue injunctive relief against Apple so long as Apple is open to negotiating a license with Samsung for their 3G patents.
The decision was handed down from the District Court of The Hague, and as we’ve covered before, Samsung is taking Apple to task for infringing upon patents that are essential to 3G standards. Consequently, Samsung is obligated to make those patents available for licensing on fair and non discriminatory terms.
What’s more, the Court ruled that Samsung can’t assert its 3G/UMTS wireless patents against the iPhone 4S due to patent exhaustion. In other words, because the iPhone 4S employs a chipset from Qualcomm, and because Qualcomm has a license to Samsung’s patents, Samsung can’t assert those patents against Apple since Apple’s right to those patents are transferred over via Qualcomm.
Florian Mueller adds:
Apple is licensed by extension since it purchases baseband chips from Qualcomm, and Samsung’s attempt to terminate its license agreement with Qualcomm as far as third-party beneficiary Apple is concerned failed because Samsung had made a commitment to ETSI, the standards body in charge of 3G, that it would grant irrevocable licenses to its 3G/UMTS essential patents.
Mueller declared the decision an “meaningful victory” for Apple, in part because the court’s position on FRAND patents means Samsung is unlikely to get much money out of the current litigation.
“So far, Samsung has not been able to prevail with any of its offensive claims against Apple anywhere on this planet,” he explained. “Today’s ruling is only the latest in a series of losses.”
Even though Samsung and Apple continue to battle it out in legal battles across the globe, the two companies remain important partners in a number of areas. Samsung, for instance is believed to be the lead supplier of the Retina Displays Apple is using on its newly released iPad.