Samsung to Apple: We're not copying, we're competing

Samsung has refined its retaliatory patent infringement suit against Apple, dropping two patents and adding a further four as well as challenging its rival's position on what constitutes copying. "The Samsung Defendants admit that they have not ceased competing with Apple" the newly filed papers sarcastically confess, "notwithstanding Apple's efforts to avoid such competition." The company argues that what Apple alleges is "copyist" behavior is, in fact, fair competition.

Meanwhile, rather than allow itself to be painted as some technology vampire, Samsung is keen to stress its own innovation history. "From 2005 through 2010 alone, Samsung invested more than $35 billion in research and development" the newly filed response suggests. "More than a quarter of all Samsung employees – over 50,100 engineers overall, including about 8,700 in telecommunications – daily engage in cutting-edge research and development projects." That hard work has paid off, is the implication, with Samsung flagging that "during the last half of 2010, Samsung sold more Android-based devices worldwide than any other company."

The four freshly-added patents Apple is alleged to have infringed cover "portable telephone and method of displaying data thereof"; a "method of controlling digital image processing apparatus for efficient reproduction and digital image processing apparatus using the method"; a "portable composite communication terminal for transmitting/receiving and images, and operation method and communication system thereof"; and a "multi-tasking apparatus and method in portable terminal." The standalone California lawsuit filed in late April has been voluntarily dismissed, following advice to convert the patents it covered into counterclaims against Apple's own suit.

FOSSpatents has a complex but interesting chart of the current state of play between Apple and Samsung if you need to get up to speed. What remains to be seen is how the lawsuit impacts the ongoing working relationship between the two companies; Apple is already tipped to be ditching Samsung as a future chip manufacturer for components in upcoming iPads and iPhones.