By Luis Estrada:
While Apple recently secured an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, Samsung is still struggling to tighten its own legal screws on Apple. The company has countersued Apple in a number of jurisdictions and has filed its own motions asking for an injunction against Apple’s iOS products on the basis that they infringe upon a number of Samsung patents.
Earlier today, a court in the Netherlands denied Samsung’s request for an injunction against the iPhone and iPad 3G explaining that the licensing terms Samsung wanted Apple to pay were unreasonable. Note that the patents Samsung is generally asserting against Apple are part of established technological standards. Consequently, Samsung can’t use these patents offensively and must offer them to all friends and foes alike on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, otherwise known as RAND terms.
In this case, the patents Samsung asserts are part of 3G and UMTS standards
The judge in the hearing found that Samsung requires too much money per each 3G chip in licensing fees from other hardware makers for the terms to be considered reasonable. Apple’s lawyers in the case had previously let slip that Samsung wanted 2.4 percent of the price of every chip per patent it holds.
Samsung had argued that Apple had plenty of time to negotiate a reasonable fee for the patents in question, but had failed to do so, and so an injunction was now in order. However, the judge said that further attempts by Samsung to secure a ban at this stage constituted “abuse” of its rights. Instead, the court has ordered Apple and Samsung to continue negotiations with the aim of reaching a licensing agreement that truly complies with the FRAND requirement.
We’ve previously highlighted the legal bankruptcy of Samsung in trying to assert RAND encumbered patents against Apple. The difference is that the patents wielded by Apple are proprietary and aren’t part of any standard. Samsung is effectively trying to have its cake and it eat it to to the extent that it wants its patented technology included in important 3G and UTMS standards but isn’t willing to let competitors use said technology for a reasonable price.
Finally, the court further noted that an injunction wasn’t in order because the consequences for Apple would be grave and the alleged infringement has already been tolerated by Samsung for quite some time. Indeed, Samsung only brought its suit for an injunction after Apple first initiated its legal proceedings against Samsung a few months ago.