Samsung seeks sales ban on iPhone 4S in France, Italy

October 5th, 2011 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Oct 5 (IANS) Samsung Electronics Wednesday said it would seek sales ban on Apple’s new iPhone 4S in France and Italy as the iPhone maker infringed severely on Samsung’s wireless telecommunications technology.

“Samsung plans to file separate preliminary injunction motions in Paris, France and Milan, Italy, requesting the courts to block the sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the respective markets,” Xinhua reported quoting a statement from Samsung.

The announcement came after Apple unveiled iPhone 4S, the latest version of iPhone, at its Cupertino headquarters overnight. Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook introduced the upgraded iPhone, featuring dual-core A5 processor and an eight-megapixel camera. The iPhone will be rolled out Oct 14 in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Japan and Australia.

Samsung’s push for sales ban was widely expected as the South Korean firm shifted to the offensive recently in a patent battle with Apple. Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung’s mobile-phone division, said late September that the firm’s legal team would announce at a proper time whether it would seek a global sales ban on Apple’s new iPhone.

Samsung claimed that Apple violated three mobile patents related to wireless telecommunications technology called Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA). The technology has been regarded as essential to third-generation (3G) mobile handsets and telecommunication networks.

“The sales ban request signals Samsung shift in patent battle with Apple from defensive to offensive. If the battle moves into dispute over mobile patents from the previous design patents, Apple would be in a very unfavourable position,” S.R. Kwon, an analyst at Donbu Securities in Seoul, told Xinhua.

Samsung owns around 28,000 patents in the US alone, and the number would increase to 100,000 across the globe. “Samsung plans to file preliminary injunctions in other countries after further review,” the company said, indicating that the attempt for sales ban in the US and South Korea could not be ruled out.

“Samsung has numerous patents for wireless technology, while Apple does not have a long history in the mobile phone industry. Apple may end up choosing a patent cross-licensing or strategic partnership with Samsung,” said Kim Young-chan, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

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