After weeks of playing defense against five Apple patents, Samsung this week went after Apple with two of its own patents: one it says is infringed when people make FaceTime calls, and another that covers the photo gallery feature found on iPhones, iPads, and some iPods.
Trouble is, the five Apple patents are actually Apple patents. Samsung’s two patents are both purchased patents, not Samsung innovations.
According to Apple’s attorneys, Samsung bought the pair of patents specifically for the case, instead of inventing them in-house. The original inventors on the video patent, for instance, originated in Oklahoma, and the gallery patent originally belonged to Hitachi. In the case of the video patent, Samsung disclosed that it paid $2.39 million to acquire it in 2010, the same year FaceTime debuted alongside the iPhone 4. Apple hopes that will stand in stark contrast with its five patents, two of which were filed the day the company introduced the iPhone, and all developed within the company.
Legal is legal, I get that. Samsung owns the two patents fair and square. But something about this just strikes me as skunky.