As we all know, despite constant pleas of innocence, Samsung was judged to have indeed infringed on several Apple patents, and a jury – overseen by Judge Lucy Koh – ordered the South Korean company to compensate its Cupertino rival to the tune of over one billion dollars.
For two large companies with billions in the bank already, the money is almost irrelevant, and although Samsung will undoubtedly have been hurt by the ruling, it won’t be the billion dollar hole in its bank account that hurts the most. Samsung lost a lot of pride when the jury drew its conclusions last week, and it now cannot be refuted Samsung did indeed borrow many design aspects of both Apple’s iPhone and iPad designs.
Quite understandably, the company is still raw in emotion, and despite having had a decent following week by announcing a flurry of new devices (including the rather delicious ATIV S Windows 8 Phone) at IFA, Samsung is still understandably hurting.
Those hurt feelings appear to be boiling over into an avenging mindset, for Samsung has today declared it will immediately file a lawsuit against its bitter rival if its next iPhone handset features 4G LTE. Although it does sound rather vindictive and petty, Samsung does hold quite a few patents for the technology, so it will be intriguing to see whether the threats could actually be cause to concern Tim Cook’s company.
Samsung owns less than an eight (or about 12%) of the patents related to LTE, with Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson controlling around 43 percent. It’s not so much how many patents Samsung owns, than the quality of them, and one or two standards essential patents could easily be utilized by the company as leverage.
It may just be that, after the ordeal of the past couple of weeks, Samsung is looking to vent its anger, and given the Galaxy S III maker has, in the past, accused Apple of abusing patent law, it would seem strange that it has decided to (potentially sue) over patents which are usually broadly licensed under FRAND terms. Patents which have contributed to industry standard specifications like MPEG, Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE are required to be licensed under FRAND, so if Samsung does have a case, it will need to properly and coherently disclose what it is Apple has infringed upon.