Apple pressured to provide iOS 6 source code
By Kim Yoo-chul
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 the American technology giant 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.
''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.
The two companies are involved in more than 40 lawsuits stretching across four continents. In the United States, U.S. Federal Judge Lucy Koh rejected Apple’s request to block some key Samsung products on American shelves and also turned down Samsung’s demand for a retrial citing alleged misconduct of jury foreman Velvin Hogan.
Samsung is also being investigated by the European Commission on accusations of fair trade violations.
The body has expressed concerns that the Korean company, the world’s largest provider of smartphones, was claiming exclusive ownership of essential technologies governed by competition laws.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to review an earlier decision that found Samsung products infringed on four patents owned by Apple.
The four relate to the ornamental design of a device, commands through finger contact on touch-screen display, a method and apparatus for producing translucent images on a device, and audio input/output handset plugs and plug circuitry.