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Samsung Claims Infringement as Apple Calls Demands ‘Excessive’

The Apple iPhone 3G went on sale in July, 2008. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
The Apple iPhone 3G went on sale in July, 2008. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has infringed upon Samsung Electronics patents since entering the mobile-phone market with the iPhone 3G, a lawyer for Samsung told a Dutch court as the Korean company seeks a ban on some Apple products in the Netherlands.

“Apple just entered the market in 2008 without taking care of the licenses,” Bas Berghuis van Woortman, a lawyer for Simmons & Simmons LLP who represents Samsung, said in The Hague court. “Apple is consciously, structurally infringing the 3G patents.”

Samsung, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones, filed four lawsuits against Apple in the Netherlands and the first scheduled hearing was today. Samsung is claiming Cupertino, California-based Apple’s iPhone and iPad that use third-generation technology infringe Samsung patents and is seeking a ban on their sale in the Netherlands.

The legal battle between Apple and rival smartphone makers is intensifying as an increasing number of consumers use smart phones and wireless handsets to surf the Web, play games and download music and videos. Samsung and Apple have been involved in lawsuits around the globe since Apple claimed in an April lawsuit filed in the U.S. that the Korean company’s Galaxy devices copied the iPhone and iPad.

Apple told the court it uses Intel Corp.’s chipsets for iPhones in Europe, and licenses are covered that way.

‘Excessive’ Demands

“When we entered the market we did have patent licenses,” said Rutger Kleemans, a lawyer for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP representing Apple in the Netherlands. Samsung wants to get 2.4 percent of the chip price on the patents in question, which is “excessive,” he said, without elaborating.

The two companies are in talks on 3G licenses, “so an injunction is premature,” Kleemans said. Samsung holds a standard-essential patent and is obliged to provide third parties with a license under reasonable, non-discriminatory terms, he said.

Apple has blocked sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, which Strategy Analytics forecasts will be Europe’s third-largest market for touch-screen mobile computers this year.

In Australia, Samsung’s debut of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer may be delayed beyond the end of the month after a judge today said she needs time to study Apple’s patent-infringement claims.

Among mobile-device patent battles is a dispute between Apple and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. over the iPhone’s touchscreen. The U.S. International Trade Commission is hearing one case starting today.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung lost a preliminary court ruling over sales of its Galaxy S, S II and Ace smart phones in the Netherlands in a patent dispute with Apple last month. The judge in that case didn’t extend the ruling to Samsung’s tablet computers.

The Hague court intends to rule on Oct. 14 whether Samsung has a case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maaike Noordhuis in Amsterdam at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

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