It appears the Apple versus Samsung legal dispute is elevating to another level. Previously, Apple sued the South Korean conglomerate alleging they were copying designs of the iPhone and iPad with their Galaxy line up of touch devices. Samsung has also demanded to see Apple’s unreleased iPhone 5 and iPad 3 prototypes.
Recently, reports surfaced Apple would be moving their chip production for their next generation “A6” line to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in 2012, which would result in Samsung losing their biggest customer:
Dan Heyler, a semiconductor analyst with Merrill Lynch in Taipei, told the China-based Commercial Times newspaper on Friday that TSMC will most likely be producing “A6” processors for Apple, a next-generation ARM-based design, in 2012.
Today, Bloomberg reports Samsung has filed a trade complaint to the International Trade Commission yesterday to block US imports of the iPhone along with the iPad, and iPod touch. The ITC has the authority to block imports of any product found to violate U.S. patents. The question remains whether or not they will take up Samsung’s complaints. The five patents in question:
– ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network
– the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission
– integrating Web browsing into a phone
– a way to store and play digital audio
– viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display
â€œEach of the asserted patents is important to Samsungâ€™s success in the highly competitive industry of mobile electronic devices by providing Samsung with features that are highly desirable to consumers,â€
Any case taken by the ITC would result in a lengthy 15-18 month long legal case with a judge to hear arguments within a year.
FOSSpatents argues there are different value propositions at stake here. It’s more worthwhile and profitable for Samsung to defend its Galaxy line up since it’s a major brand, even if it means losing the contract to manufacture chips for Apple, a low margin business in its own right. For Apple, it makes more sense to find another supplier.
This legal war is far from over. Stay tuned.