Apple: Samsung cheated in 3G standardization

Apple has accused Samsung of manipulating open telecom standards, failing to disclose patents the company holds on technologies it pushed the ETSI to adopt, and then attempting to hold Apple and others to ransom afterwards. Presenting its case at the preliminary Hague hearing this morning, Apple claims Samsung engineered the 3G standard so that it would include technologies the Korean company secretly held patents on, reports Webwereld's Andreas Udo de Haes, and is now demanding "simply excessive" royalties amounting to 2.4-percent of the chip price for every patent.

However, Apple insists that Samsung's actual contribution to the 3G standard is nothing more than "bug fixing," and argues that the company has been selective in how it handles the patent situation because of its own market concerns. Samsung only demanded Apple license its technologies in 2010, the Cupertino company's legal team claims, holding off until then because of the value Apple holds as a customer of Samsung's memory and other components.

In fact, they conclude, Samsung is only now rolling out the patent claims so as to counter from their own infringement of Apple IP. There's also the accusation that Samsung changed its licensing with Qualcomm to specifically exclude business with Apple, Qualcomm's CDMA chips being found in the iPhone 4 for Verizon and other non-GSM carriers. Any injunction against Apple's 3G devices, as Samsung has requested, would be premature, the company's lawyers say, because negotiations are still ongoing. Apple supposedly made an offer, but Samsung rejected it in favor of what are described as "outrageous" royalties.

Apple requested permission to present an expert to the court on why, if Samsung had its way, the ETSI would be undermined, but it was rejected by the judge. The company wants the ETSI to punish Samsung for not disclosing its patent holdings before 3G standardization took place. Samsung will have its own opportunity to present its case before any decision is made.