by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Sept 20, 2011
South Korea's Samsung Electronics will file lawsuits to try to block the sale of Apple's iPhone 5 as part of its global legal tussle with the US technology giant, a report said Tuesday.
The two firms are at loggerheads in a series of patent lawsuits over the technology and design of their smartphones and tablet computers.
Maeil Business Newspaper cited a Samsung official as saying the firm would "strategically" launch the legal actions as Apple was expected to start selling the much-anticipated smartphone next month.
"We have not yet decided whether to launch the suits in South Korea or in a third country," the unidentified official was quoted as saying.
It was unclear whether Samsung would seek a sales ban only in South Korea or internationally. A Samsung Electronics spokesman declined to comment.
Apple has accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying the technology and designs of its market-leading iPhone and iPad.
It has filed complaints in countries including Germany and Australia, seeking a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab.
Samsung, the world's biggest memory chip maker and the number two mobile phone maker after Nokia, has launched counter-suits claiming its US rival infringed its wireless technology patents.
The Suwon-based company earlier this month was forced to withdraw its new tablet PC from a major electronics fair in Berlin after a German court approved a request from Apple to ban sales and marketing.
Samsung however vowed to appeal, saying it would actively take "all available measures, including legal options" to defend its presence in the European market.
The company said last week it had filed complaints in France against Apple alleging infringement of three mobile phone technology patents in the US firm's iPhone and iPad.
The complaint was filed before a Paris district court in July and the first hearing is expected in December.
Despite their legal battles, Apple is one of the biggest customers for Samsung's chips and display screens.
earlier related report
Shops taking part in the program began letting people pay for purchases with taps of Nexus S 4G smartphones from US telecom carrier Sprint.
"With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC)," said Osama Bedier, vice president of payments at the Internet giant.
Google Wallet uses an NFC chip embedded in a smartphone to allow a user to "tap-and-pay" for purchases at a checkout register equipped with the PayPass system from CitiMasterCard.
Wallet software is being sent to Sprint Nexus S 4G phones in the form of an automatic over-the-air update.
"Simply install the app and the next time you spot one of the more than 300,000 PayPass locations around the globe, you'll be ready to go," gdgt.com co-founder Ryan Block said in a blog post at the MasterCard website.
"I'm really excited about taking another step closer to a future where using your portable device to instantly pay is as easy, convenient, and commonplace as making a call from anywhere in the world," Block said.
Google and Sprint along with financial partners Citibank and MasterCard began testing Wallet in May.
Wallet initially works with the Nexus S 4G smartphone from Sprint and will eventually be expanded to more Android phones.
Visa, Discover and American Express made their respective NFC specifications available to Google on Monday so their payment cards could be added to future versions of Wallet, according to Bedier.
"Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets," Bedier said.
Customers can also use a Google Prepaid card to pay for purchases, topping up the Google card with any payment card, and take advantage of Google Offers, the Mountain View, California-based company's online discount coupon program.
Wallet will be accepted by more than 300,000 merchants around the world.
NFC technology is being tested or used in a number of countries already, notably France, but Wallet will be the first to bring it to the United States on a potentially large scale.
Stephanie Tilenius, Google's vice president for commerce and payments, has described Google Wallet as the "next generation of mobile commerce."
"We're building an open commerce ecosystem that for the first time will make it possible for you to pay with an NFC wallet and redeem consumer promotions all in one tap, while shopping offline," Tilenius said.
In addition to allowing for mobile payments, Wallet allows consumers to pay using gift cards and to redeem promotions such as discounts or coupons.
Google has been beefing up local content and services as online lifestyles increasingly revolve around smartphones with location-sensing capabilities.
Google recently bought Germany-based local bargains website DailyDeal and venerable restaurant review guide Zagat.
Wallet is a platform where online shopping or bargain-hunting can merge with consummating real-world transactions, according to Bedier.
"We notice a trend where people increasingly start shopping experiences online," Bedier told AFP.
"We want to tie it into something we normally do -- the payment process -- with magical experiences that save you time and money," he continued.
Google will focus on ramping up Wallet in San Francisco and New York City with feedback used to refine and expand the service.
"Ultimately, it becomes everything you have in your wallet is in your smartphone," Bedier said. "This is just the beginning for us."
He touted Wallet as more secure than credit cards.
Wallet essentially acts as a copy of a credit card stored on a smartphone, with no account data ever being put on Google servers.
"I think anyone who knows credit cards and how they work today will understand the magnitude of how safe this is," Bedier said of Wallet.
"You can lock this, decommission it, remotely delete the card from the Wallet," he continued. "And if you try to tamper with the chip, it basically self-destructs."
Google is defending itself against a lawsuit filed by eBay and PayPal charging the Internet giant tapped into the online financial transaction service's know-how for the mobile payments project.
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Google opening smartphone wallets
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 19, 2011
Google opened its smartphone wallet to the public on Monday. Shops taking part in the program began letting people pay for purchases with taps of Nexus S 4G smartphones from Sprint. "With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC)," vice president of payments Osama Bedier said in a blog post at the Internet giant's website. Google Wal ... read more
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