Samsung removes three patents from Apple battle

10-03-2014

Samsung has agreed to remove claims that rival Apple infringed standard-essential patents (SEPs) it owns ahead of the latest lawsuit between the companies.

As part of the agreement, South-Korea based Samsung will remove its claims relating to three patents it accused its Californian rival of infringing. While Apple is suing Samsung in the case, Samsung has filed counterclaims.

According to a document filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California on March 7, the decision was taken because the companies “wish to further narrow and streamline the trial in this matter to avoid overburdening the jury and the court.”

SEPs are patents that are essential to the application of industry standards. Companies that label their patents SEPs are required to licence them at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) rates.

Apple has also removed its claims that Samsung abused that requirement.

“In light of Samsung’s dismissals, and because Samsung is no longer asserting in this case any claim of any declared standard-essential patent, Apple agrees to dismiss without prejudice its defences to the claims,” the document says.

As a result, Samsung will now assert two non-standard-essential patents, US numbers 6,226,449 and 5,579,239.

The case is due to begin on March 31.

The SEPs that have been removed are US numbers, 7,756,087, (087) 7,551,596 (596) and 5,579,239 (239).

The 087 patent, called "method and apparatus for performing non-scheduled transmission in a mobile communication system for supporting an enhanced uplink data channel" was asserted against the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and New iPad.

The 596 patent, "method and apparatus for signalling control information of uplink packet data service in mobile communication system" was used against the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and New iPad.

Finally, the 239 patent, for a "remote video transmission system" accused all Apple’s iPhones, and all 3G iPads with cameras, of infringing its claims.

This is not the first time Samsung has dropped its claims related to SEPs.

In December last year, just days before the European Commission announced its use of SEP patents in litigation could be in violation of EU anti-trust laws, the company dropped all pending claims in European courts.

The trial, at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, is scheduled to begin on March 31. 

In-house lawyers for the fierce rivals had previously agreed to attend mediation sessions in anticipation of the trial with the hope of reaching a settlement.

However, talks are widely believed to have broken down. 

Both companies declined to comment.

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WIPR