Samsung seeks iPhone 4S source code and Apple’s subsidy agreements with carriers

The legal battle between Samsung and Apple is playing out like a tech soap opera. Multitudes of suits and countersuits, and as always, lots of posturing. To date, Apple has been somewhat successful in its efforts to prevent sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in a number of countries, including Germany and the Netherlands. As for Samsung, its efforts to ban the iPhone 4S have thus far been fruitless. But that doesn’t mean it’s not trying. In Australia last week, Samsung filed a motion seeking to ban the sale of the iPhone 4S even though the device has been on sale there since it first launched a few weeks ago. What’s interesting though is what Samsung is demanding.

In Federal court today Samsung counsel Cynthia Cochrane said her client would need the source code for the iPhone 4S and agreements Apple had with major carriers Vodafone, Telstra and Optus in order to make a legal case for a ban before the court.

So Samsung wants to see Apple’s iPhone 4S source code along with Apple’s subsidy agreements with various Australian carriers. no why would Samsung want to examine the subsidies Apple is able to extract from carriers?

Well, Samsung claims that Apple’s iPhone infringes upon its 3G patents. As a result, it views Apple’s iPhone success and popularity as undeserving and built on Samsung’s hard work. and since Apple leverages its iPhone success into high subsidies, Samsung claims that there’s less subsidy money to be spread around to their devices.

“If subsidies are given for the iPhone 4S, there are less to go around for my client’s products,” Samsung’s lawyer claimed.

I’m not sure how this is going to fly in court, especially in light of recent reports that Samsung is being investigated in the EU for RAND violations. To be clear, the 3G patents Samsung continues to assert against Apple are part of technological standards that are consequently subject to FRAND terms. That means that Samsung must license these patents out to whoever’s interested on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. As it pertains to Apple, Samsung hasn’t done that yet and has instead opted to pursue a legal solution.

In short, Samsung may be pulling out all the stops to go tit for tat with Apple but don’t expect the iPhone 4S to be pulled from the shelves ni Australia, or anywhere else for that matter.