So, Apple’s iPhone 5 is finally official. Along with all the other expected hardware updates, the new device is also capable of LTE, or long-term evolution, that oft promised revolutionary new technology that’s set to change the way we experience mobile internet. Unfortunately, that same technology may just be the opening that HTC and Samsung, two companies that are currently embroiled in an expensive legal battle with Apple, needs to fight back.
See, to be able to run LTE, Apple used the LTE radio standard, a standard which is based on hundreds of different other patents. Unfortunately, some of those patents are already owned by Samsung and HTC. Sure, Apple also holds some of these patents, unfortunately, Samsung and HTC have far bigger LTE patent portfolios simply because both companies have been making LTE capable devices for a while now. Samsung wouldn’t miss the chance to try and get the latest flagship device of its main rival banned, or at least, delayed – an industry source is quoted as saying that “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.”
As for HTC, a US judge has already said that the company’s LTE patents are probably valid when they were challenged by Apple. HTC probably won’t be looking for a ban on Apple products, as it’s more likely going to use its patent leverage to get a nice, fat settlement from Apple, but that may change, depending on the company’s direction.
Both companies possibly won’t be able to issue injunctions fast enough to stall the initial rollout of the iPhone 5, but they may be able to block further shipments into the US and other territories further down the line. One thing’s for sure – Apple is on the defensive this time around.