Samsung demands iPhone 4S source code in court

Samsung has asked a court in Australia to grant access to the source code for Apple's iPhone 4S firmware, as well as information on its agreements mobile phone operators in the country, as it seeks a ban on the new smartphone.

The move continues a tit-for-tat battle over patents being conducted worldwide, which last month saw Apple granted a temporary ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

The South Korean company accuses Apple of infringing three of its patents on wireless 3G communications with the iPhone 4S.

Samsung's counsel, Cynthia Cochrane, told the federal court that the company would need to see the source code for Apple's smartphone in order to make its legal case. She also requested details of Apple's agreements with mobile operators Vodafone, Telstra and Optus, in order to see what subsidies the operators pay to Apple for selling the new iPhone 4S on contract.

Cochrane argued: "It goes to show that since the iPhone 3G was made available in Australia in July 2008, the impact on the market for every iPhone product has been significant, and has lead to a substantial increase ... in market share by revenue.

"If subsidies are given for the iPhone 4S, there are less to go around for my client's products."

Apple claims it has licensed the wireless patents from Samsung under the 'Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory terms' (FRAND) standard, under which commonly required patents must be offered at a fair and reasonable fee. Samsung is expected to argue that this agreement doesn't extend to Australia.

One major stumbling block for Samsung may be the unwillingness of the court to grant an injunction against a product which, unlike its own Galaxy Tab 10.1, has already gone on sale, with Apple's counsel stating, "the horse had already bolted".

Justice Annabel Bennett, presiding over the case, is also the judge who last month handed down the temporary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The case is scheduled to continue on November 4.