Samsung: Sales stop for all Galaxy phones?

SEOUL/MUNICH – The Chinese company Datang has comprehensively won against Samsung in the first instance before the Landgericht München I (Munich Regional Court). The legal dispute revolves around a critical patent related to the 4G/LTE mobile communication standard. Here are the details:

  • Patent Description: The patent with the number EP2237607 describes a cell handover method in LTE/4G radio networks, utilizing the Time-Division Duplex (TDD) technique. In this method, transmitters and receivers (such as 4G base stations and smartphones) alternate their transmissions within the same frequency range, ensuring seamless handover between cells. This allows for a consistent mobile connection while walking or driving.
  • Datang as Patent Holder: Since August 20, 2021, Datang has been the holder of the German part of this patent. The rights were transferred from the China Academy of Telecommunications Technology to Datang. Established in 1998 at a university, Datang belongs to the state-owned China Information and Communication Technology Group. Unlike pure patent trolls, Datang actively develops radio technology and products.
  • Verdict and Consequences: The Landgericht München I has ruled that Samsung must pay compensation for all 4G-capable smartphones sold in Germany since August 21, 2021. Additionally, all models currently in the market are to be destroyed – practically affecting every Galaxy smartphone, as all devices already operate on 4G. However, the verdict is not yet legally binding. Datang could enforce it provisionally only by providing a security deposit of over 2.5 million euros.
  • Samsung’s Response: Samsung has not issued an official statement yet. However, the company will likely appeal. The Landgericht München I is known for being plaintiff-friendly in patent matters, often ruling in favor of patent holders. Samsung’s counterclaim was rejected, as Datang allegedly did not offer a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing proposal.

The fate of Galaxy smartphones now depends on Samsung’s further legal actions. (zai)