Samsung demands iPhone 4S source code in Aussie row

Yes, but what has France to say?


Samsung is demanding the source code of the iPhone 4S firmware, while Apple wants copies of Samsung's contract with Qualcomm and both companies are looking to France in their Australian case.

France is important, as that's where the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is based and where Samsung agreed to license critical 3G patents on a Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) basis. But, as Australian business title iTnews reports, Samsung reckons Apple is breaching three of its patents, while Apple reckons the Qualcomm chips it uses come with patent rights, so wants to see the contract Samsung has with Qualcomm.

Samsung is seeking an injunction on the iPhone 4S in Australia, though the only patents it can apply are fundamental to the W-CDMA (3G) standard and thus fall into the ETSI-mandated FRAND policy. Apple reckons it is free to use those patents having bought chips from Qualcomm, and Qualcomm has a licence from Samsung which Apple has seen, but only in a form so redacted as to be useless to its case.

Apple has previously argued that its licence to the Lodsys (mobile payments) patents should also cover users of its services (mobile developers taking payments through iTunes), so Cupertino obviously believes patent rights should be transferable, but that will depend on the contract Samsung has with Qualcomm, which is why Apple wants to see it.

Samsung, meanwhile, wants to see the iPhone 4S firmware so it can establish that Apple really is breaching its patents, something Apple still denies.

Samsung has tried to get injunctions against the 4S in America, France and Italy, where cases continue, with only the Dutch courts ruling in Apple's favour. Samsung is also pursuing a separate case though the Australian courts, involving the same three patents, and four others, in the increasingly impenetrable battle between the two companies.

In this instance the judge reckons all these demands for documents mean the case isn't going to fit into the four-day schedule, and will start considering which of the various document requests should be sustained when the case continues on Friday. ®


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