Apple has launched a new patent claim against Samsung and Android, dragging Google into the ongoing copyright battle for the $219 billion global smartphone market. The move marks a significant escalation in the battle between Apple and Samsung, which many have viewed as a proxy legal war with Apple’s real rival Google. Under the new accusations, Apple claims Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system breach its patents.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a tablet equipped with a stylus – unlike Apple’s iPads – while Jelly Bean is Google’s latest version of the Android operating system that runs on Samsung devices and tablets.
This is the first time that Google has been dragged into the patent dispute. The case is scheduled for trial in 2014.
The new claim comes hours after a district court judge dismissed Apple’s patent case against Google-owned Motorola Mobility and a separate jury instructed Apple to pay almost £230 million to tech firm VirnetX.
The latest patent claim by Apple is likely to be in response to a counter-claim by Samsung in October, which added the iPhone 5 to its list of patent-infringing products. That case is scheduled for trial in 2014.
Apple filed its lawsuit against Motorola Mobility last year after Motorola demanded 2.25 per cent of all net sales on Apple iOS products that use its essential industry patents.
Businesses who own essential industry patents are expected to offer them to other companies under licensing terms deemed FRAND; meaning fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory.
Apple, however, said Motorola’s 2.25 per cent royalty claim was excessive.
Judge Barbara Crabb threw the case out, forcing Apple to successfully appeal against the decision and revive the case.
And in a separate patent case, Apple was ordered to pay almost £230 million to tech firm VirnetX after it was ruled to have infringed patents for technology used in its FaceTime software.
VirnetX targeted all of Apple’s products that use the FaceTime function – the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Mac computers, seeking almost £500 million in damages.
Apple had denied infringing the patent.
In a separate patent case in August, Apple won a $1.05 billion jury verdict against Samsung in the US.