Samsung to Sue Apple Over iPhone 5 for Infringing on LTE Patents

The Korea Times reports Samsung will indeed sue Apple over the upcoming iPhone 5 based on infringing on LTE patents:

Samsung Electronics said Monday that it will sue Apple over its release of the iPhone 5 for infringing on its fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity patents, according to ranking officials.

“It’s true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ? Apple’s home-turf ? are our primary targets,’’ said a senior Samsung who is directly involved with the matter, in a telephone interview with The Korea Times.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5 at this Wednesday’s media event. At the end of August, the Korea Times also reported Samsung would “immediately sue Apple” if the latter released a phone with LTE connectivity, which was confirmed earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

Apple has recently acquired 318 LTE patents this year, or 4.9% of total LTE patents compared to the top 10 patent holders. It looks to be another massive legal battle, as Samsung looks to seek retribution after being punished by a California jury verdict to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

Samsung believes LTE patents are not considered standard essential patents (SEPs), unlike what Apple argued against 3G patents in court:

“Apple claimed the existing 3G-related patents are standard essential patents (SEPs) according to our earlier commitment to the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. But the story is totally different when you talk about LTE patents. These are new and highly-valued,’’ said another Samsung executive.

Two South Korean wireless carriers, SK Telecom and KT confirmed today all but confirmed they would offer the next iPhone from Apple, that will utilize LTE networks. With Samsung set to sue Apple over LTE, the report notes both carriers will enter murky waters in trying to market the new faster iPhone 5 in the country.

What do you think? Does Samsung have a case here in suing Apple over LTE?

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