In ANYTHING on September 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Apple’s latest iPhone – due for release on Friday – is set to be the focal point of another lawsuit involving the two firms.

Samsung has filed paperwork with a California court saying it intends to extend complaints made against existing Apple handsets to include the new device. It indicated that it believed at least eight of its US patents had been infringed.

According to consultant Florian Mueller, who reported on the filing on his Foss Patents blog, the case is set to go to trial in March 2014.

A statement from Samsung said: “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms.

“However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

Apple was not able to comment at this time.

Messaging software

Elsewhere, Apple also faces a claim that its iMessage technology involves techniques that should have been licensed from Google’s Motorola unit. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to investigate the allegation in addition to six other infringement claims. Apple’s iMessage software allows owners of its products to send text and picture notifications to each other as an alternative to SMS or other instant message products.

The software comes installed on new Macintosh computers, iPhones and iPads. Google could enforce sales bans on the products if its claims are upheld.

A statement from the ITC said that it would set the date by which it intended to complete its investigation by the first week of November.

One patent lawyer, who used to act for Apple in Europe, said the amount of litigation the firm was now involved in was a concern.

“From Apple’s perspective you reap what you sow,” said Andrew Alton, a lawyer at Urquhart-Dykes and Lord.

“It started this by filing lawsuits about patents relating to unique software features, and it now faces allegations that hardware parts of its devices infringe others’ technologies – they would be much harder to change if it loses.

“Fighting litigation is always a drain on resources. Apple has a large amount of cash, but you have to ask whether the money would be better spent on R&D than lawyers.”


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