In late December, we reported that the Korean online news site iNews24 reported that Samsung had brought a lawsuit against Apple over their use of their new iOS Notification feature. No other details were available at that time. Well, today the case is making headlines in Korea and it's a doozy. Samsung is demanding that Apple give up its iOS 6 source-code.
According to the Korean news, Samsung Electronics claimed Friday it should be able to access Apple's software source code to confirm whether or not its technology patents were infringed upon in the latest i0S 6 operating system powering iPhones and iPads.
Apple has denied the request of its Korean rival, calling it ridiculous. Both Motorola and Google have also asked for the source code to be supplied but to no avail. Samsung claims that Apple's i0S 6 borrowed from one of its software patents without consent. Apple strongly disagrees.
According to officials from the Seoul Central District Court, Samsung's legal representatives argued Thursday that it would be impossible to confirm whether its patent has been infringed on or not without Apple providing the source code.
Apple representatives countered furiously and denounced the demand as "insane."
"It doesn't' make any sense. Samsung is saying that we should give up protecting our most important data,"' court officials recalled Apple lawyers as saying. The court requested Apple to have its software designers and engineers testify, but Apple reportedly refused.
"The court has yet to decide whether to accept Samsung's request," a court official told The Korea Times, requesting anonymity.
The software technology Samsung claims to have been infringed are related to the function that allows iPhone users to check updated messages, weather information and schedules by swiping the upper-end of the screen.
The Korean company said it registered the patent in November 2006 and the feature was first adopted in mobile devices powered by Google's Android operating system, including Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The function was enabled on Apple devices in 2011 following an iOS upgrade.
It was widely held that Samsung was hiding behind Google's Notification patent that was granted to them last November. Now we see that Google had actually adopted a Samsung patent regarding notifications on Android, or at least in-part.
"Apple lawyers said that the issue was a complicated technical matter but nonetheless accused Samsung of claiming ownership of a technology that was already widely in use," said the court official.
It's obvious to most that Apple's notification system is better than Android's implementation. The very notion that Apple has stolen code from Samsung is ludicrous. There's no doubt that Apple took the concept from Android but those like BGR make it clear that Apple vastly improved upon this concept well beyond any other notification system.
Considering that Samsung edged Apple out for smartphone sales leadership this past quarter, it would appear that they would now love to get their hands on Apple's Crown Jewel, iOS 6. One has to question whether this is a strategic move dreamt up by Samsung alone or in collusion with Google.
When visiting Samsung in Korea last September, Google's Eric Schmidt had a lot to say about their patent war with Apple. In one quote from our September report Schmidt stated that "Literally patent wars prevent choice, prevent innovation and I think that is very bad. We are obviously working through that and trying to make sure we stay on the right side of these issues. So ultimately Google stands for innovation as opposed to patent wars." Yet when it comes to suing Apple over notifications, big mouth Schmidt is nowhere to be found.
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