The iPhone 4S features a new antenna design, intended to prevent any risk of 'Antennagate' reoccuring, a plight that some iPhone 4 owners will remember all too well.
Not only that, the 4S's new dual antennas can automatically switch when sending and receiving information, a trick Apple say is a first for a mobile phone, and one that others dissagree with.
Enter Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen, professor at Aalborg University's Institute for Electronic Systems in Denmark and one of the big names involved in the events of Antennagate last time around. Why Professor Pedersen feels that Apple's latest iPhone might be treading on toes stems from patents he and his associates apparently sold to Samsung some years earlier.
At the iPhone 4S launch, CEO Tim Cook and co were quoted as saying,
“Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive.”
Pedersen disagrees, primarily with the fact that Apple dubbed this an 'innovation',
"When Apple says that it is new, it’s not true. It has been in use for very long. For example in the DECT cordless phones. Both in these and in some other phones“
The patents Pedersen has in mind were sold to Samsung back in 2007 and address both power and communication methods. The possible infringments are with respect to the Apparatus and method for stabilizing terminal power in a communication system and Apparatus and method for selecting an antenna in a communication system patents.
Samsung haven't yet acted on the new ammunition in their ongoing patent war with the Cupertino based company, but they have already tried to have the iPhone 4S witheld from sale in both France and Italy with regard to a different set of patents that Samsung apparently own.
Whether or not this development will help stem the flow of lawsuits between the company is uncertain, but it looks as though the fights certainly not over yet.
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