Apple Calls the Kettle Black, Says Samsung is Abusing Patents in Smartphone Rivalries

In today’s mobile news roundup: Apple filing states DoJ is investigating Samsung over FRAND patent misuse; Google Nexus 4 leaks in UK; and Sprint’s Q3 reports widened loss.

Apple filing states DoJ is investigating Samsung over FRAND patent misuse

In a filing first discovered by FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, it was stated that Samsung is being investigated by the Department of Justice regarding the use of standards-essential patents as weapons against rival handset makers.

“Regulators likewise have continued to scrutinize these problems, including in the specific context of Samsung’s conduct: the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the manner in which Samsung has used—or misused—its declared-essential patents, as has the European Commission,” the Apple ITC filing stated.

Samsung is being scrutinized by the European Commission and South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission regarding their alleged abuse in using standard essential patents.  ITC Judge Thomas Pender found Samsung in violation of three Apple utility patents and one design patent and if the six-member Commission concurs with the ITC’s finding, then Samsung could be facing import ban on infringing products.

In other Apple news, all eyes are on the fruity company as they are set to release their Q4 report today after the market closes.  Thirty-six analysts, 20 professionals and 16 independents, lowered their expectations after Tuesday’s announcement of the iPad Mini.  The pros estimated earnings per share of $8.75 on sales of $35.51 billion while the independents are expecting earnings of $9.66 on sales of $37.23 billion.

Google Nexus 4 leaks in UK

Ahead of Google’s Android event on the 29th, leaks regarding the Nexus 4 surfaced in UK via Carphone Warehouse.  According to the leak, the Google Nexus 4 is from LG and will sport a 4.7” screen, S4 quad-core processor from Snapdragon, potential 8GB of built in storage, 8+ MP camera, NFC, a 360° Panoramic view, complete with Google Apps such as Google Now, and will run the latest Android version, 4.2 Jelly Bean, which T3 incorrectly referred to as Android Key Lime Pie.  The site also stated that interested buyers can now pre-order the Google Nexus phone and will be delivered by October 30.

Sprint’s Q3 reports widened loss

Sprint Nextel, which is in the process of selling a controlling stake to Japan’s Softbank for $20 billion, reported that they’ve lost $767 million or 26 cents per share during the third quarter.  Their net operating revenue was up $8.76 billion compared to last year’s Q3 of $8.33 billion but it still missed analysts’ expectation of $8.8 billion.  Though they’ve added 410,000 new contract-based customers on Sprint, they lost 866,000 on Nextel which the company is closing as part of the Network Vision program.  Some 516,000 Nextel customers have already been converted to Sprint.  The company has a total loss of 456,000 contract customers during the quarter.  They also reported that they’ve sold 1.5 million iPhones during the third quarter, dwarfed by AT&T’s 4.7 million and Verizon’s 3.1 million.  Much of their loss has been attributed to the shuttering of Nextel, expanding their 4G offering, and struggling to make up for the cost of offering the iPhone.