Samsung may hit Apple with iPhone 4S ban

Apple could face court injunctions to halt sale of new iPhone 4S as Samsung says it breaches patents it owns

Apple's new iPhone 4S faces the prospect of court injunctions in France and Italy from the Korean electronics firm Samsung, which says the phones breach patents it owns on wireless communications.

It is an escalation of the struggle between Samsung and Apple, who are fighting a number of increasingly bitter court battles in various territories around the world. Samsung, which is challenging Apple for the title of the world's biggest maker of smartphones, says it plans to file preliminary injunctions in Paris and Milan on the basis that the iPhone 4S, announced in California on Tuesday night and expected in a number of countries including the UK from 14 October, infringes its patents on WCDMA technology.

The iPhone 4S combines both GSM and CDMA systems – the two principal methods of connecting to mobile networks – in a single phone, so that it can be used on almost any mobile network in the world without modification. Apple has been selling a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 since January, initially for use on the US Verizon network, though it is not sold in either France or Italy, which use GSM networks. Samsung filed a suit against Apple in the US in April claiming infringement of its WCDMA patents.

"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology, and we will steadfastly protect our intellectual property," Samsung said in a statement.

The South Korean company did not say when the French and Italian filings would take place, but did say it plans similar moves in other countries "after further review". Under the laws of France and Italy, companies can seek and courts can order a ban on sales of a product even before the product reaches markets, Samsung spokesman James Chung told Reuters.

Apple did not have any comment at the time of publication.

Samsung is set to report sharply lower quarterly earnings on Friday on persistent declines in chip prices, while investors look for signs that its telecom business can sustain its booming growth. Samsung has been a supplier to Apple of parts including touchscreens and memory chips, but the two companies have also been at odds through the courts since April, when Apple took legal actions claiming Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers, claiming that they copy its iPhone and iPad.

Samsung has responded by taking Apple to court over what it alleges are violations of its patents covering wireless communications. Samsung said the technology it claims Apple infringes "is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices" and that it sees the alleged violations as "too severe and that (the) iPhone 4S should be barred from sales".

Apple has won sales injunctions against Samsung products in the Netherlands and Germany and is seeking one in Australia. Samsung has asked a court in the Netherlands to stop Apple from selling iPhones and iPad tablets in that country.


Charles Arthur and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Samsung overtakes Nokia – and possibly outsells Apple's iPhone

Samsung appears to have become the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, passing Finland's Nokia, top since 1998. By Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

27, Apr, 2012 @6:13 PM

Article image
Samsung v Apple: Obama overturning import ban is not about favouritism

Analysis: The reversal on US imports for the iPhone 4 is about stopping owners of standards-essential patents from charging extortionate prices

Charles Arthur

05, Aug, 2013 @3:41 PM

Article image
Apple and Samsung smartphone patent row set for new jury trial
Judge Lucy Koh rules jury must decide how much Samsung must pay for infringements by 14 devices from original trial. By Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

04, Mar, 2013 @11:52 AM

Article image
iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch to 'brighten everyone's day', says Apple

Apple will launch top-end iPhone 5S and cheaper iPhone 5C in an event to be shown to a select group in China

Charles Arthur, technology editor

09, Sep, 2013 @10:05 AM

Article image
Can Apple stop the profits rot?
Apple's much-anticipated results are expected to show its growth story has soured as rivals eat into smartphone market

Juliette Garside, telecoms correspondent

22, Apr, 2013 @3:45 PM

Article image
Fall of the iCurtain: Apple brings iTunes to Samsung smart TVs
Surprise move signals wider opening up of Apple ecosystem as tech firm seeks new revenue

Alex Hern

08, Jan, 2019 @2:17 PM

Article image
Samsung overtakes Apple as world's most profitable mobile phone maker
Falling profits from iPhone sales and strong demand for Galaxy handsets combine to end California firm's four-year reign

Juliette Garside, telecoms correspondent

26, Jul, 2013 @1:06 PM

Article image
Apple has plenty of irons in the fire to offset faltering iPad sales
Charles Arthur: With operating profits and revenues rising, chief executive Tim Cook can afford to be bullisg

Charles Arthur, technology editor

20, Oct, 2014 @10:20 PM

Article image
Apple profits up 124% year-on-year after record iPhone sales

Steve Jobs unveils $7bn profit in second-quarter results amid hints the next version of iPhone will be released in September. By Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

19, Jul, 2011 @11:00 PM

Article image
Apple awarded more than $1bn in Samsung patent infringement trial

Jury finds that critical features of smartphone and tablet design were copied and dismisses South Korean firm's counterclaims. By Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

25, Aug, 2012 @12:45 AM