Joel Rosenblatt San Francisco
Apple’s iPhone 5 infringed Samsung’s patents, the South Korean company said on Monday, escalating a global fight over mobile devices after winning a court order lifting a ban on US sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
The largest cellphone seller added claims about the iPhone 5, which was released last month, to an existing patent-infringement lawsuit between the two companies in federal court in San Jose, California. Apple won a $1.05 billion (R8.7bn) jury verdict against Samsung on August 24 in a separate patent case in the same court.
“As soon as the iPhone 5 was available for purchase, Samsung began its investigation of the product,” the company said in its court filing on Monday. The iPhone 5 infringed two standards patents and six features patents, Samsung said.
The two biggest makers of high-end phones have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are fighting patent battles on four continents to retain their dominance in the $219bn global smartphone market.
On Monday US District Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the litigation in California, rescinded a ban on US sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that she imposed in June. Judge Koh said there were no grounds for keeping the preliminary injunction in place after jurors concluded in their August 24 verdict that Samsung did not infringe the Apple design patent that was the basis for the injunction.
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, contended that the ban should remain in place because the jury found the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed other patents at issue in the case.
The case in which Samsung added the iPhone 5 claims is scheduled for trial in 2014.
Samsung’s original complaint identifies the same eight patents as the basis for alleging infringement by earlier iPhone models, as well as the iPad and iPod Touch.
Apple has already won a preliminary order from Judge Koh blocking US sales of Samsung’s Nexus smartphone. In August, Apple added the Galaxy S III smartphone to its list of products that it says infringe its patents.
In the previous patent lawsuit between the two companies that went to trial in July, the jury found that Samsung infringed six of seven Apple patents at stake.
Judge Koh has scheduled December hearings in that case to consider Apple’s request for a permanent US sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment on the court’s order rescinding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban and Samsung’s filing adding the iPhone 5 infringement claims.
Samsung shares rose 1.7 percent by noon in Seoul. – Bloomberg