Samsung will sue rival Apple for stealing LTE patents in the iPhone 5 device the latter will unveil tomorrow, a Korean newspaper reports.
The Korea Times said Tuesday that Seoul-based Samsung plans to sue Apple in Europe and the United States for infringing on a number of patents related to LTE (Long Term Evolution), the technology that's soon to become standard in the next generation of cellphones.
"Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple’s home turf ― are our primary targets," the paper quoted an unnamed industry source as saying.
On Wednesday, Cupertino-based Apple is expected to unveil the sixth version of its wildly popular iPhone at a press event in California. Among many new features, it's believed the device will operate based on LTE technology, which allows for faster and more powerful cellular transmissions.
Last month, a U.S. judge order Samsung to pay more than $1 billion in penalties for infringing on a number of Apple patents in its popular line of Galaxy cellphones and tablet computers. The move to countersue is part of a worldwide battle for market share between the two companies, which has seen Samsung win smaller battles in its home turf of Korea and Japan while losing a major judgment in the key U.S. market.
The companies are fighting bitterly on many, but in effect are very interconnected. More than a quarter of the components in the last generation of the iPhone are supplied to Apple by Samsung manufacturing facilities.
Samsung's hopes are no doubt buoyed by the actions of Taiwanese device maker HTC, which has already won a similar court battle with monolithic Apple surrounding the use of LTE technology.
Regardless of the outcome, the disputes are unlikely to see the device delayed or pulled from the shelves. The more likely outcome would be for the parties to agree out of court to settle and use each other's technologies in each other's devices while paying a fee for the rights.