Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has upped its demands for Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) to resolve ongoing legal disputes over intellectual property rights infringement. It now wants Samsung to concede that Apple will have the right to sue if any future products are too similar for Apple’s liking.
Apple wants agreement like it had with HTC
“If Samsung wants a deal, it will have to accept, as HTC Corp (TPE:2498) did before it, an anti-cloning provision that would allow Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to still bring lawsuits if Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s products resembled Apple’s offerings too closely in ways that could actually be avoided by means of design around,” Apple wrote in a legal filing, Fashion Times reports. The filing also accuses Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) of using a number of different delaying tactics to prevent Apple’s request for an injunction from being heard.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) had previously said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) waived its demands for an anti-cloning clause, and Apple denied the claims. Whatever may have been said behind closed doors, it’s clear now that Apple intends to get as much out of the deal as possible.
Litigation a standard tactic between telecoms
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), the world’s two leading smartphone companies, have been at it for at least two years, battling in the courts with as much vigor as in the markets. Now the two companies have agreed to mediation (set to begin on February 19, the trial had been set for March) but that doesn’t mean the show is over. As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s demand makes clear, just because this round of litigation may be coming to a close doesn’t mean either side is ready to stop wielding their respective patents as a bludgeon. There has already been enough back and forth (with both sides winning some rounds), that neither side has much incentive to hold back if it sees the possibility of driving its top competitor out of the market (or out of a specific market) with a new injunction.
IP battles have been common in telecom wars with Google suing Apple, Apple suing Google, and the Rockstar Consortium being created for the sole purpose of obtaining Nortel’s valuable IP portfolio and suing everyone in sight. Unless patent laws are reformed to prevent it, litigation will likely be a growing cost for this sector.