Reports from anonymous sources “close to the matter” claim Samsung is getting ready to block sales of the iPhone 5 in Europe, though they haven’t quite settled in which countries they’ll be launching legal action. South Korea is a natural choice, but Europe is apparently in discussions, and would put a significantly larger wrench into Apple’s plans. While that seems a little pre-emptive, you can’t blame them for being on the offensive after Apple blocked the Tab in Australia and Germany. The nature of what Samsung’s complaints might be still aren’t clear (since we don’t know much about the iPhone 5), but I’m sure they’ll be able to to find something. Samsung actually demanded to see the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in courts awhile back to ensure Apple wasn’t stepping on any of their technology, but to no avail.
So does Samsung have any chance of successfully blocking the next generation of iPhone? Well, Samsung has a bevy of wireless patents at its disposal, which would likely trump any claims to design infringement Apple may have, one patent lawyer suggested. Getting a win in South Korea could set a precedent for further litigation in Europe, but how exactly Samsung will strike is still up in the air.
Samsung and Apple have been taking legal shots at one another for awhile now, but with the iPhone 5 launch just around the corner, things are really starting to come to a boil. Understandably, Apple may be looking to Japan in order to reduce their dependency on Samsung for flash memory should this fight sour their supplier relationship. Personally, I’m rooting for Samsung on this one; I can’t see Apple’s attacks as much more than opportunistic attempts to slow down the competition, rather than legitimate complaints about what technology Samsung’s using. After all, the crux of Apple’s complaints have been around design, and even those are on shaky ground.
[via Financial Times, pic/Rob Marmion]