Samsung countersues Apple for patent infringement

Samsung said on Friday that it had filed patent lawsuits against Apple in three jurisdictions - in Korea, Japan, and Germany. While it's currently unclear which patents Samsung believes Apple is infringing on, a corporate statement on the matter relayed that 5 patents are at the core of Samsung's suit, though the company didn't mention any specific technologies.

Nearly every tech company worth mentioning is seemingly involved in high profile litigation these days. Microsoft is going after Motorola. Oracle is going after Google. Nokia and Apple are going back and forth at each other like a pair of rabid dogs. And of course, who can forget HTC, RIM, Kodak and a host of other companies currently embroiled in high profile litigation.

Late last week, Apple added yet another twist when it sued Samsung, alleging that the South Korean based company's line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe on Apple patents and copy the "look and feel" of Apple's iOS devices. While those claims will ultimately be up to the courts to decide, it's hard to look at some of Samsung's products and deduce that they were seemingly trying to copy Apple's offerings to a tee.

Samsung, of course, isn't one to back down from a fight, with a company spokesman stating earlier this week that though Apple is one of Samsung's key customers,  the company has no choice but to "respond strongly" to Apple's lawsuit.

And now it has.

Samsung said on Friday that it had filed patent lawsuits against Apple in three jurisdictions - in Korea, Japan, and Germany. While it's currently unclear which patents Samsung believes Apple is infringing on, a corporate statement on the matter relayed that 5 patents are at the core of Samsung's suit, though the company didn't mention any specific technologies. The Wall St. Journal, though, intimates that the patents relate to cellphone transmission technologies.

The statement reads in part:

"Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business."

Samsung of course has one of the most voluminous patent portfolios in the business, but then again, that's not an area where Apple is lacking in either. So while Apple's case against Samsung seems quite solid, it'll be interesting to see which patents Samsung has trotted out to fight back in the hopes that they can strike a cross licensing deal with Apple.

During Apple's earnings conference call this past Wednesday, Apple COO Tim Cook noted that Apple did try and reach an amicable solution with Samsung outside of the courts but were ultimately forced to go that route once negotiations fell through.

We are Samsung's largest customer (for liquid crystal display panels and semiconductors) and Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us," Cook explained.

"And I expect the strong relationship will continue. Separately from this, we felt the mobile communication division of Samsung had crossed the line and after trying for some time to work out the issue, we decided we needed to rely on the courts.”

via Reuters

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