Samsung vs. Apple: Patent fight sinks Qualcomm truce

The Korean handset maker ended a truce with Qualcomm and its third-party vendors over 3G patent use when Apple filed court proceedings against Samsung last year.

Josh Taylor

Samsung had signed an agreement with Qualcomm not to sue the chipmaker or its customers for using Samsung's 3G patents, but this agreement was called off when Apple took Samsung to court over the Galaxy Tab, Samsung admitted in the Australian Federal Court this morning.

The Federal Court today commenced the long-awaited case between Apple and Samsung over alleged patent infringements by the two companies. The court began hearing Samsung's counterclaim against Apple -- that the company infringed on three standards-essential 3G patents held by Samsung in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Lawyers for Samsung today admitted that Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Apple, had an agreement with Samsung whereby the Korean tech giant would not sue Qualcomm or its customers for infringement on 3G patents. According to court documents, this agreement was first made back in 1993.

Samsung stated that this agreement was terminated in April 2011, with notice provided to Qualcomm, when Apple first filed proceedings against the Galaxy Tab in California.

Read more of "Samsung sacrificed Qualcomm truce for Apple war at ZDNet.