Samsung says its fight with Apple could have been avoided

Samsung said that its row with Apple was entirely unnecessary and would not have happened if it had just bought a licence for its technology like everyone else.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the comments were made during a court battle down under where Apple was trying to delay a hearing into Samsung’s attempt to ban sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S in March.

In the Federal Court in Sydney, it was decided that the patent infringement case would go to an early full hearing in March and in return Samsung would pause its attempt to temporarily ban the device between now and then.

Apple argued it could not be ready for such an early final hearing which is exactly what Samsung did when Apple moved to ban its Galaxy tab down under.

Justice Bennett repeatedly rejected Apple’s lawyer’s reasons for why an early hearing could not go ahead and she became increasingly miffed at Apple’s antics.

She pointed out that Jobs’ Mob released a new iPhone each year and delaying the start of the case may push it back even further, as Samsung would “have to recast their entire case to deal with a new product”.

Bennett said that the legal antics were designed to make it harder for Samsung to expand the Android market.

Senior patent lawyer Mark Summerfield said Samsung and Apple were in broad licensing discussions in the lead up to April, which “might have avoided litigation”.

However, the informal policy of not suing Apple for patent infringement was terminated when Apple sued Samsung in California and then elsewhere.

Samsung technology had been licensed to other manufacturers but Apple did not seek to obtain a licence.

Apple was told that it was infringing Samsung’s essential 3G patents from April 2011 at the very least and thereafter proceeded with its eyes wide open to take steps that involved infringement of patents.

Samsung plans to show the court that in the four or five months preceeding the iPhone 4S launch, Samsung was “gaining substantial market share” at the expense of Apple. But when Jobs’ Mob released the iPhone 4S, which infringes the patents, it had  “an immediate impact”.

Justice Bennett said there would be a significant overlap between this and the Galaxy Tab case and she said she may take into account evidence presented in the new case to avoid the duplication of time and effort.

Although Steve Jobs’ Biography has not been mentioned in court, we would have thought Justice Bennett would be interested in knowing that Jobs decided to spend all of Apple’s cash sinking Android.

Jobs said that he invented the smartphone operating system and Android had copied his technology. The plan was to take out suppliers of phones using Android to avoid a more costly head-to-head encounter with Google. One of the biggest side effects was to kill off a highly successful business relationship with Samsung, which made chips and other hardware for the iPhone range.