Samsung dropped its lawsuit against Apple in Germany after discovering a Qualcomm licensing agreement could shield the iPhone 4S from 3G patent-infringement charges. The South Korean smartphone maker later denied it was letting Apple completely off the hook.
In a tweet from the Mannheim, Germany courthouse, patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, writes “Samsung has formally given up attacking the iPhone 4S with 3G Patents. Recognizes Apple is licensed thru [sic] Qualcomm.” Qualcomm is said to supply chips for the iPhone 4S.
Mueller later said Samsung clarified its decision. Today’s move was “for the mere purpose of streamlining one particular case,” the expert told his Twitter audience.
In another courtroom battle between the two rivals in Australia, Samsung acknowledged the licensing agreement between Qualcomm and Apple. Earlier this month, a temporary restraining order banning sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet was lifted with the court ordering Apple pay the winner’s expenses.
Apple also lost an infringement lawsuit against Motorola in Germany. In that decision, the court made permanent a default decision against Apple. Mueller believes Apple could remove the infringing technology from the iPhone 4S, permitting German sales once again. However, the process could be difficult, due to the offending technology resting at the core of the iPhone’s wireless data transfer. The Cupertino, Calif. company has said it would appeal the Dec. 9 loss to Motorola.