Samsung Finally Wins a Patent Case Against Apple
Samsung won a rare victory over Apple Wednesday when a Dutch court found the iPhone maker liable for infringing one of its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) patents.
The Netherlands’ District Court of The Hague ruled that Apple, with its iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and iPad 1 and 2 has infringed on a Samsung patent EP1188269 — “apparatus for encoding a transport format combination indicator for a communication system” — and ordered Cupertino to pay Samsung an unspecified amount of damages as a result.
The ruling, while a clear victory for Samsung, isn’t a major one. In finding Apple guilty of the above infringment, the court did not grant Samsung an injunction against infringing products. It also ruled that Apple did not infringe three other 3G patents Samsung had asserted against it. And because EP1188269 is a standard-essential patent, it must be licensed under so-called fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
Apple has said all along that it was willing pay the FRAND rates on this patent. In fact, it offered Samsung a FRAND rate, which the company refused to accept. So in ruling against Apple today, the court is also forcing Samsung to accept FRAND terms on EP1188269 — something it had originally opposed.
Which is something of a win for Apple. Not that Samsung sees it that way.
“Today’s ruling confirms that Apple was free-riding on our technological innovation,” said a Samsung spokesperson. “For us it is a victory.”