Wednesday, September 28, 2011

T-Mobile also files brief in support of Samsung against Apple

T-Mobile just submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in support of Samsung against Apple with respect to a possible US-wide preliminary injunction, along with

  • a formal request for permission to be admitted to the proceedings as a third party and

  • a motion to shorten time in order to ensure that the court will decide on the admission of T-Mobile ahead of the October 13 hearing on Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction

Verizon made a similar submission on Friday, and Apple objected to that one on the basis of untimeliness (and will certainly disagree with its substance if the court accepts Verizon's submission at all).

T-Mobile's argument is materially consistent with the one made by Verizon: they don't want important 4G devices banned during the Christmas selling season. I have uploaded T-Mobile's brief to Scribd:

11-09-28 Apple v Samsung T-Mobile Proposed Amicus Brief

Similarities between the points made by the two proposed briefs are striking. T-Mobile's brief even says explicitly that "[t]o the extent applicable, T-Mobile incorporates the arguments of [Verizon's brief]". But there are also some differences, especially this one:

"T-Mobile's public interest arguments, however, apply to all the asserted patents, including the Design Patents."

In my report on Verizon's letter I already said that Verizon's formal limitation of its argument to the one software patent asserted by Apple wasn't credible. T-Mobile is forthright about its opposition to an injunction on any ground, whether based on the software patent or any or all of the three asserted design patents.

T-Mobile's motion to shorten time (for the exchange of pleadings with respect to its proposal to appear as a "friend of the court") refers to Apple's objections against the timing of Verizon's submission, and argues that an accelerated process is needed to ensure that T-Mobile can participate in the October 13 hearing. However, T-Mobile doesn't really explain why it files its submission now and didn't do so a while ago. After all, Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction was filed on July 1.

If AT&T had previously obtained clearance to acquire T-Mobile, this initiative might never have happened. But the U.S. Department of Justice is trying to block the merger, and T-Mobile continues to operate independently.

Any support will be appreciated by Samsung, which on another patent-related note took an Android patent license from Microsoft that was announced earlier today.

If you'd like to be updated on the smartphone patent disputes and other intellectual property matters I cover, please subscribe to my RSS feed (in the right-hand column) and/or follow me on Twitter @FOSSpatents and Google+.

Share with other professionals via LinkedIn: