Samsung Terminated Its Patent Agreement With Qualcomm To Sue Apple

Samsung’s lawyers today briefed that Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Apple, had an agreement with the Korean tech giant which was first signed back in 1993, that it would not sue Qualcomm or its customers (e.g Apple) for infringement on Samsung’s 3G patents. However, Samsung terminated the agreement in April 2011 when Apple first filed proceedings against the Galaxy Tab in California, in order to get back at Apple (via CNET). Samsung gave this statement at the Australian Federal Court this morning.

Detailing from the source:

“There was an agreement between Samsung and Qualcomm. That agreement was not a licence agreement. It contains a contractual provision that Samsung would not sue Qualcomm or customers of Qualcomm who apply [the 3G patents],” Samsung’s counsel said.

Samsung stated that this agreement was terminated in April 2011, with notice provided to Qualcomm, when Apple first filed proceedings against the Galaxy Tab in California.

At that point, Apple sought a licence to use Samsung’s UMTS patents in its devices, and Samsung’s counsel argued that the company offered a “fair commercial rate” to license the products under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Samsung stated that Apple rejected this proposal, and refused to enter further negotiations to obtain a licence.

“Samsung has done nothing other than take steps to protect its patent rights against infringement in the same way in it would in the ordinary course in circumstances where it has been sued by Apple, and Apple has refused to enter negotiations for the UMTS patent,” Samsung’s counsel said.

Samsung initially sought to prove that Apple had infringed on seven patents, but has now eventually settled on three patents as part of its case.