Of all the tech groups holding their breath to see what Apple will do tomorrow, there is one firm above all whose interest knows no bounds: Samsung. According to reports in the Korean Times, the South Korean multi-conglomerate is to sue the makers of the iPhone, claiming that it holds the LTE-related patents that the U.S. firm needs to make its high-speed wireless networking possible.
The legal tussles concerning LTE patents between the two companies have been to-ing and fro-ing for some time now, with this current bout of litigation expected to centre on the U.S. and European markets. Both firms are currently fighting it out in the Dutch and German courts, and it follows a contentious U.S. ruling where Samsung was ordered to pony up a $1 billion-plus in damages to Apple over patent infringement.
It is hard to know how this saga will end – apart from a CBS miniseries, perhaps – as it seems too close to call. Yesterday one U.S. Trade judge called in favour of another of Apple’s rivals, HTC, claiming that the Cupertino firm may not be able to invalidate patents owned by the Taiwanese firm. Samsung, however, gleefully fueling the fires with its anti-Apple advertising, is currently being scrutinised by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, after Apple claimed that the Asian giant is abusing its 3G wireless patents. Given that Samsung IS South Korea, however, it’s worth putting a punt on the Korean FTC finding in favour of its own man.