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Samsung ready to strike back at Apple with LTE patent suit

Publication Date : 14-09-2012


With Apple publicly unveiling its plan to launch the iPhone 5 LTE worldwide, Samsung Electronics is on the verge of pushing the battlefront against the US firm further to include LTE patents.

Apple announced at its iPhone 5 event in San Francisco early Thursday, Korean time, that it will roll out the new gadget here through the top two mobile carriers SK Telecom and KT.

Although it did not specify the release date for Korea, the Cupertino-based tech giant said it will launch models running on the faster fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks globally.

Samsung, which has been looking into iPhone 5’s infringement of its LTE patents, is now most likely to expand its battleground involving intellectual property infringement at courts in nine different countries.

The firm’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun also said on Wednesday that Samsung has many cards it could use against Apple because the company owns many LTE-related patents.

According to data from the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Samsung currently possesses the highest number of patents on LTE in the industry worldwide ― 819 patents ― whereas Apple is ranked 10th with 318 patents.

Global consulting group Thomson Reuters said Samsung owns 12.2 per cent of the world’s LTE patents, sitting at No. 3 in patent portfolio size, following Nokia and Qualcomm.
“Apple’s weakness in LTE technology is also witnessed through the court case on LTE patents filed against the company by Taiwan-based HTC with it being highly possible that Apple may lose the case,” said a Samsung official.

For the launch of iPhone 5, SKT will use its two radio frequency ranges ― 850 megahertz and 1.8 gigahertz ― and KT will make use of its 1.8 gigahertz range. LG Uplus will be the only mobile carrier exempt from the list due to technical difficulties.

This is the first time for Apple to roll out its gadget operating on the LTE networks in Korea.

Korea is one of the few nations equipped with nationwide LTE networks, but the LTE version of Apple’s previous flagship tablet, the new iPad, was dismissed because of the different wireless broadband spectrum set up by local telecoms.


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