As Apple’s legal pressure on Samsung continues to build, the Korean electronics giant has asked a court in Australia to grant it access to the source code for Apple’s iPhone 4S firmware as well as information on its carrier agreements with the major operators in the country, as it seeks to ban the new device in the country.
SmartOffice reports that Samsung has upped its legal fight in Australia after facing another courtroom battle in South Korea and receiving a temporary ban of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in the country, now accusing Apple of infringing on three of its wireless 3G patents – intellectual property that it has asserted against Apple in Europe already.
Samsung counsel Cynthia Cochrane told the Australian court that in order to make a legal case for a ban on the iPhone 4S, the company would need to see the source code for Apple’s new smartphone, also requesting its agreements with operators Vodafone, Telstra and Optus. The Korean device maker demands Apple’s carrier agreements so it can see the subsidies that the operators pay their rival for selling the new iPhone 4S on plans.
Interestingly for Samsung, the judge presiding over the case is the same case that handed the company an injunction on its new tablet device.
Samsung’s counsel argued in court today:
“It goes to show that since the iPhone 3G was made available in Australia in July 2008, the impact on the market for every iPhone product has been significant, and has lead to a substantial increase … in market share by revenue,” Cochrane said in court today.
“If subsidies are given for the iPhone 4S, there are less to go around for my client’s products.”
Apple believes it has licensed the wireless patents, suggesting Samsung agreed to license them under the FRAND standard – meaning that as they are necessary for many companies to provide wireless products, the company must offer the patents at a fair and reasonable fee. It is thought that Samsung may say that the patent agreement doesn’t extend to Australia.
The problem Samsung faces is that the iPhone 4S is already on sale in Australia and has been for over two weeks. When Apple successfully saw its request for a ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the device was yet to launch in the country. This very notion saw Apple’s counsel state the claim was late, saying ”the horse had already bolted”.
Apple requested information from chipmaker Qualcomm to determine whether the processor manufacturer had licensed the patents via its own agreements for the iPhone 4S processor.
The case is scheduled to continue on November 4.