Samsung has demanded the iPhone 4S source code so that it can hunt for potential Apple patent infringement, in the latest escalation of the legal battle between the two companies. Just weeks after Apple secured a sales ban against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, Samsung’s lawyers asked courts in the country to order Apple to hand over the iPhone 4S code, Smart Office reports, in addition to details on subsidies agreed with Australian carriers. “If subsidies are given for the iPhone 4S,” Samsung counsel Cynthia Cochrane told the judge, ”there are less to go around for my client’s products.”
Samsung is arguing that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sale in Australia because it includes certain wireless technologies that, the Korean company alleges, are patented and not licensed. Meanwhile, by soaking up carrier subsidy cash, that’s less of a market for Samsung’s own devices. Apple, meanwhile, claims it is covered by a third-party license granted to Qualcomm.
“The horse [has] already bolted” Apple’s lawyers pointed out, referring to the fact that the iPhone 4S is already on sale in Australia and the network subsidy cash has already been allotted. In contrast, Samsung agreed to hold off launching the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction had been granted, agreeing with the judge that it could cause shopper confusion to see the tablet put on sale and then subsequently yanked from shelves.
Samsung may well be regretting that cooperation now. As for the source code, Apple’s legal team told the court it would have to wait on advice before saying what it would show its rival and what it would not; however, it reiterated that Qualcomm’s licensing of wireless patents for the MDM6610 chip at the heart of the iPhone 4S covered Apple’s use of it.
The case is being presided over by Justice Annabel Bennett, the same judge that granted Apple its injunction over the Galaxy Tab. She also blocked Apple’s demands to have all Samsung tablets in Australia banned.