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The patent fight has often been analogized as being like the Cold War, and it’s a battle which Apple appears to be winning right now, given that Judge Lucy Koh recently ruled in favor of Apple in the well-documented San Jose fiasco. Samsung was hit pretty hard by the decision of the jury, and as well as losing a billion dollars plus (barring a successful appeal), the Korean outfit has been made to look like the inferior, copycat company.

Still seething about the decision and licking its wounds, Samsung came out fighting, declaring its intention to sue Apple, should the Cupertino outfit deploy an LTE-compliant device. There’s no should about it, because even if the several hundred million reports confirming the matter were not enough, the third-gen iPad’s inclusion of the faster cellular connection indicates the next smartphone will certainly follow suit.

Of course, Samsung doesn’t own LTE per se, but there are many patents relating to the technology spread across the mobile companies, and Samsung does hold a great deal of those patents. Without actually knowing which patents are being argued over so early on, it’s hard to tell whether Samsung would have a case, but Apple has responded typically by arranging 434 LTE patents in order to respond to any legal motion made by Samsung, so says the Chosun Ilbo website. This time last year, Apple’s LTE patent tally sat at zero, but apparently the company has amassed 318 – 44 of which it developed itself.

Making up the other 116 patents is Apple’s majority stake in the patent enforcement outfit Rockstar Bidco, bringing the total up to 434. Meanwhile, Samsung has an almighty 819 LTE patents at its disposal, and although the company’s lawyers took something of a hiding last time around, things don’t – even at this early stage – look as though they’ll follow the same prose as before.

Tim Cook’s fruit company doesn’t need an excuse to get its lawyers out of bed at the best of times, and Samsung’s threats would have been like the red rag to a bull. Whether we like it or not, it looks as though we could be seeing another epic Apple vs. Samsung battle on a grand scale, and after the last innings, don’t be surprised to see the gloves come off.

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