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Samsung v iPhone 4S French entrenchment: 'TOTAL WAR'

'They won't leave us alone', sob Apple lawyers to judge

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Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war in the latest battleground for the world-spanning dispute between the two firms.

The tech giants are now in Paris to argue over Samsung's attempt to get a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S in France, based on alleged infringement of its 3G patents.

"This is the latest attempt in the 'total war' against Apple, as Samsung's management have called it, which is nothing other than an attempt to push Apple out of the mobile market," the Jesus mobe maker's legal team whined, according to Le Monde and translated by The Register's French-affairs desk.

Why Cupertino's lawyers felt they had break out a sob story is a bit of a mystery as their case looks strong. The Netherlands has already ruled against Samsung on 3G patents, because as a recognised standard they are supposed to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms to any interested parties.

On that basis, the Dutch court told the bickering companies to go to their room and sort out a FRAND agreement back in October - and European judges often take note of what each other decide, although they're not bound by each other.

A European Commission investigation into breaches of competition law by the South Korean firm and its FRAND licensing, which Apple lawyers also mentioned in the Parisian court, adds further weight to the standards argument against Samsung.

As well as whacking Samsung with the FRAND stick, Apple also claims to have rights to the patents anyway through their agreements with Qualcomm, which provides one of the chips for the iPhone (the other provided, ironically, by Samsung).

Samsung's legal eagles said Qualcomm doesn't pay royalties so it can't go around giving licences to other companies. The South Korean company is also insisting that Apple won't pay the rate that Samsung has proposed for the FRAND licence, suggested at between two and four per cent of a device's price.

The French judge said the companies could expect a decision on the preliminary injunction on December 8. ®

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