Despite just having agreed to send their CEOs and chief lawyers for an in-person sit-down to talk possible settlement options in their long-running, multi-country mobile patent dispute, Samsung and Apple aren’t quite done flinging patent-related accusations at each other.
Late Wednesday, Samsung filed court documents in California, claiming Apple is infringing on eight of its patents. The action is a response to a February claim originally filed by Apple that Samsung was infringing on two of its patents that cover, among other things, spelling and auto-correct on mobile devices.
The eight patents named in Samsung’s counterclaim cover: “performing non-scheduled transmission in a mobile communication system for supporting an enhanced uplink data channel,” “signaling control information of uplink packet data service in mobile communication system,” volume control for external audio reproduction, multimedia syncing, data display, virtual keyboards, recording and reproducing digital images and speech and remote video transmission.
These technologies covered in Samsung’s claims aren’t limited to mobile devices, which has largely defined the patent litigation between the two companies. Rather, Samsung is effectively targeting Apple’s entire product line. The technologies named are found among all models of Apple’s iPhones, iPads, iPods, Mac computers, Apple TV, iCloud and iTunes.
And as patent blogger Florian Mueller notes, two of the eight patents are considered FRAND (standards-essential, and must be offered to competitors at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms). Five of them were patents Samsung itself applied for, while the other three were purchased by Samsung from others. This is notable because the European Union has already begun investigating whether Samsung has been abusing FRAND patents, by overcharging on license fees to competitors — like Apple — on technologies that are necessary to any mobile device.
Samsung filed its response claims in the same California court where the two companies just agreed to arrange a settlement conference within the next 90 days. For those hoping there will be an end to the patent bickering between these two partners/enemies, don’t hold your breath — Samsung, at least, doesn’t appear to be in a settling kind of mood.