The Korea Herald

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Apple scoffs at Samsung’s mobile patent infringement claim

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Published : Oct. 14, 2011 - 17:08

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SEOUL (Yonhap) -- A lawyer for Apple Inc. said Friday that Samsung Electronics Co.’s mobile patent lacks novelty and was not invented by the Korean firm, the iPhone maker’s latest attempt to counter the accusation that it is using its rival’s technology without permission.

The latest court showdown in Seoul between the two rivals came one day after Samsung’s defeat in an Australian court, which imposed a temporary sales ban on the Galaxy Tab in Australia in favor of Apple.

The world’s two largest makers of smartphones are locked in intensifying legal disputes that have expanded to around 20 lawsuits in Asia, Europe and the United States ahead of the key holiday season.

The fight began in April when Apple sued Samsung for “slavishly” copying its products. Samsung also sued Apple in South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and Europe for “free riding” on Samsung’s wireless technology.

Last week, the Korean firm sought to block sales of the iPhone 4S in France and Italy, one day after Apple’s announcement of its upgraded product.

During the heated three-hour hearing at Seoul Central District Court Friday, Samsung’s lawyers argued that the company invented the technology for the so-called 234 patent, which resolved a key challenge in wireless data transmission.

“The 234 patent solved the problem of data damage in wireless data transmission, so data can be transmitted safely whether it is ceramics, books or fresh food,” said an attorney representing Samsung, comparing the different types of wireless data to physical objects.

Lawyers for Apple, however, countered that Samsung’s 234 patent was not the world standard and was a mere addendum of one sentence to existing standards.

The portion of the 234 patent invented by Samsung is “very limited” and the way the patent solved the problem of damaged data diverges from the global standard, Apple’s lawyer said in court.

“The patent contributes to the bit exchange process, which is applicable only in limited cases,” said the lawyer. “It lacks novelty and progressivity.”

Apple also argued that its mobile chips use a different algorithm from Samsung’s 234 patent. 

Judge Kang Young-soo asked Apple to submit the details of the mobile chip algorithm to prove its case.

The judge also asked Apple to disclose specific manufacturers and sellers of its mobile chips by Oct. 28. Samsung has asked its rival to release the name of the Intel Corp. affiliate that supplied chips for the iPhone.

Samsung said once a name is released it will disclose the license agreement terms Samsung has with Intel for the specific chips.

Samsung claims that Apple used mobile chips that violated Samsung’s patent, although Apple disputes this, countering that the U.S. company bought license rights through its payment to Intel.

Samsung and Intel signed a license agreement that ended in 2009.

The next hearing on the case is scheduled for Dec. 9. A hearing for the case in which Apple is the plaintiff and Samsung the defendant will take place on Nov. 25.