Samsung Hears From T-Mobile & Steve Jobs

Samsung Corp. has had an active week on the patent front between its Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) cases. Here's a summary of what's happened.

  • T-Mobile and Verizon take on Apple: In an unprecedented move for a wireless operator, Verizon Wireless spoke up last week in hopes of blocking Apple's requested injunction against Samsung devices in the U.S. Now, T-Mobile US Inc. has done the same, filing an amicus curiae brief Wednesday. (See Verizon Defends Samsung Against Apple and Samsung Tries to Block Apple Sales in the US.)

    T-Mobile claims that the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S II smartphone would harm its sales ahead of the holiday season, as well as hurt consumers by limiting choice. Ninety percent of the smartphones T-Mobile sells are Android-based, which accounts for its vocal support. (See T-Mobile Revs Android to 42 Megs.)

    One carrier unlikely to join in the anti-injunction brigade is Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), which is widely reported to be getting the iPhone next month. (See Sprint Tiptoes Around the iPhone 5.)

  • Jobs says Apple tried to play nice: The legal bickering between Samsung and Apple could have been avoided if the companies heeded former Apple CEO Steve Job's warnings last year. According to The Wall Street Journal, an Australian court was told Jobs attempted to squelch the issue last year. Senior Apple exec Richard Lutton reportedly said that Jobs started conciliatory discussions with Samsung since it was an important supplier to Apple, but then stepped aside. (See Apple Sues Samsung for iCopying and Apple Escalates Samsung Lawsuit.)

    The federal court case was adjourned until Friday, and the judge said she hopes to make a decision by next week on temporarily blocking the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Samsung is waiting for the ruling before it launches the device down under. (See Apple vs. Android Patent Spat Goes Global.)

  • Samsung forks over Android royalties: Samsung has had better luck coming to terms with Microsoft, which announced a patent cross-licensing agreement between the two on Wednesday. Samsung will now pay a royalty for every Android mobile phone and tablet it sells. Microsoft already has deals like this in place with High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) and several others, but hasn't disclosed what it's charging any of the vendors. (See Making Sense of the Handset Patent Plays.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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