Samsung to “Free Riding” Apple: We Will Sue Your Butt Every Step of The Way

Samsung to “Free Riding” Apple: We Will Sue Your Butt Every Step of The Way

Apple says Samsung's phones and tablets, like the Galaxy S above, rip off its designs.

Samsung, once regarded as a “frenemey” of Apple, is quickly turning into just an enemy. The South Korean chipmaker who also competes with the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant’s iPhone and iPad is now threatening to get medieval on Apple.

Charging Apple has been “free riding” its patents, a Samsung marketing executive warned the Tab and Galaxy manufacturer will shift from a previously “passive” role to pursue “a more aggressive way from now on.” Until recently, Apple was Samsung’s largest customer, providing contracts this year reportedly worth an estimated $7.8 billion. However, since that time, Apple has begun shifting suppliers for its A5 processor used in the iPhone and iPad to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and looking to Japan for flash memory. Additionally, recent court testimony from a former Samsung official revealed the chipmaker divulged iPad supply information, a practice frowned upon by the legendarily secretive Apple.

The comments to AP come from Lee Younghee, head of Samsung’s global marketing head for mobile communications. Although the remarks come from marketing and not legal, the words mesh with ones earlier promising Samsung was prepared to sue Apple the moment its iPhone 5 touches South Korean soil.

Earlier this month an unnamed Samsung senior executive told the Korea Times the company “plans to take Apple to court for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents.” It’s uncertain what has given Samsung its new-found bravado in the face of a long-running legal battle with Apple stretching back to April. However, one possibility could be new Motorola patents Google is sharing with its Android partners. As we recently reported, Android smartphone maker HTC is expressing confidence of a legal win against Apple, largely due to wireless patents from Google.

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  • Mondetrotter

    yeah good luck with that Samsung!

  • Wes

    The patent war is coming back to bite apple in the arse. Fair competition should have been what Apple went for, now, unfortunately, their game is being played against them now.

  • Bill Morlitz

    Apple has about $76B to argue the points with Samsung.  Samsung, can you say “Uncle”?

  • prof_peabody

    Other sites are reporting that the patents Samsung is using here, (that Apple is “free riding” on), are actually the patents they licence under FRAND, so it would seem to be another empty threat from the Samsung camp.  They may cause a bit of a kafuffle, but if they are in fact the FRAND patents, they haven’t a hope in hell of even getting a proper hearing, let alone winning.

  • Tcrowns

    Fair competition has never been an issue with Apple and Samsung, they have blatantly copied Apples design, packaging and even some icons. If Samsung really wanted to compete they should innovate and take on Apple buy producing a far superior product in design, UI, customer service, etc. but they are not. 

    Having lived and worked in Korea for a long time the Korean mentality is vey much to copy, and they are very good at that and see nothing wrong with it.

    Lets be very clear people that would like to have an iPhone but can’t afford it will gladly buy a Galaxy S because it looks close enough to an iPhone not because its fundamentally unique to Samsung.

  • Jdsonice

    Samsung is hoping to distract Apple from innovating. They know they are dead ducks and have no way to win this battle so why not take Apple with them? 

    I hope the courts see the facts that are clear SAMSUNG=COPYCATS and throws them out on their asses. 

  • gareth edwards

    Looking at this whole spat on balance I think Samsung is onto a hiding for nothing.  ALL of this stems from Samsung being less than honourable when it comes down to industrial design. People can argue in shades of grey over the rights and wrongs of both parties but I do believe that Samsung have been silly in the way they have dealt with this whole situation.

    There can be no doubt that their design dept is either a man with a photocopier or a great team of people being told copy a market leader by the board. Either way the end result is the same. To get to this point where you are not just biting the hands that feeds you but slamming it in the door is poor business however you cut it. Yes, they are doing well (thanks to the touchscreen phone market that Apple unleashed) compared to their rivals but why make things difficult just to save face? They should have bitten the bullet and taken it as a chance to fully define the Samsung look and feel rather than getting into a rather wasteful pissing contest. I like Samsung and Apple, they’ve been good for each other and we’ve all benefitted – seems a shame for it all to go up in smoke.

  • MADGeek

    Tcrowns, since you have lived in Korea, I would like to hear your opinion on another idea as to why Samsung seems to be taking this personally in their reaction to Apple’s challenges. Specifically since much of Korea’s culture comes comes from a “Shame” based point of view, could Apple or it’s lawyers committed a cultural faux pas in it’s filings by challenging the integrity of the company rather than just focusing on the objections with the products as well. Samsung’s vehemence here seems to be much more indicative of a cultural line being crossed than a reaction to a business as usual lawsuit. Here in the US I know that many of us see these accusations as just rhetoric or part of the game, but Samsung here seems to have shifted to a more emotional level in defending itself, even bringing in a form of Korean patriotism, by threatening injunctions on Apple to keep the “outsider” from being able to sell the iPhone 5 in Korea. Could Samsung now be reacting more out of cultural offense than just business defensiveness? I am curious as to your thoughts on this.

  • Wes

    yeah, that’s very true, It just all seems very iffy. I can definitely see how Samsung copied Apple’s designs and all (which I seriously detest), but this whole patent war is becoming very annoying. Still an iFan, but this is all getting to be rediculous 

  • “fanbois”

    If you don’t mind, please elaborate. What is FRAND? Thanks.

  • Hamani 93

    i really wish that this stupid asian company ‘samsung’ will lose everything some day……

  • russhughes

    Why do you have to bring the fact that they are Asian (correct spelling) into the discussion. It’s as bad as saying stupid black company. NOT GOOD in any discussion, I suggest you rescind the comment.

  • Tcjones

    Are you serious? Some people are so ready to take an offense. It’s like asking why you would call it a blue sky and not just a sky? You don’t have to point out it’s blue do you?

    Seriously…lighten up. Unplug, go have a beer and look at how beautiful the (Blue) sky is?

    Oppps, I’m sorry I capitalized Blue. Is that ok?

  • Jon

    Apple are in the wrong here and will lose. The iphone is a classic example of bland product design, resulting from the architect Mies Van der Rohe concept of ‘Less is More’ that encourages the stripping out of all styling and concentrating on the essentials. I was a product designer, many brands regret ‘going minimal’ because they then can’t protect their patents and are aesthetically very limited in the future. They have stripped the product down to it’s bare essentials, like a lot of other smartphones. The design is so sublime Apple have no right to say others are copying off them. the only room for improvement is purely technical. Samsung own the technology patents, end of argument.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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