Samsung Vs. Apple: Cupertino Scores Legal Win In South Korea

 @redletterdave
on December 12 2013 1:01 PM
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Samsung Electronics lost another battle in its long and contentious mobile patent war with Apple Inc. Courtesy / Reuters

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) on Thursday lost another courtroom battle in its long and contentious mobile patent war with Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but this time, it was on the company's home turf.

According to Reuters, a judge at the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday threw out Samsung’s claim that a number of older Apple products -- including the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad 2 had infringed three mobile patents -- related to short message display methods and organizational features related to messaging. 

“We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Steve Park, a spokesperson for Apple Korea, said Thursday.

Samsung wanted a ban on the products and 100 million won (about $95,100) in damages, but the court ruled against it. Samsung may appeal the ruling, but the company said it would first review the full decision from the South Korean court. 

“As Apple has continued to infringe our patented mobile technologies, we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights,” Samsung said in a statement.

The Seoul Central District Court was the same court that ordered Apple in August 2012 to stop selling its iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in South Korea, as well as pay 40 million won ($35,300) for infringing two patents related to wireless technology; in the same ruling, Samsung was also forced to pay 25 million won ($22,000) for infringing on Apple’s “rubberbanding effect” that’s used when scrolling to the top or bottom of applications.

Apple first sued Samsung in the U.S. in spring 2011 for infringing several key mobile patents in 21 Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy tab, and the family of Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets. The key patents were related to the iPhone’s physical design and home button, as well as its navigation and user interface (UI), the characteristics of its apps and icons, and even the rubberbanding effect. The first trial verdict largely favored Apple, as the jury found Samsung had indeed infringed on those key patents and awarded Apple just over $1 billion in damages.

samsung-phones-before-and-after-iphones Samsung was forced to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages for “borrowing” the iPhone’s essential patents –- everything from icons, layout and interface design to the rubberbanding effect one experiences when scrolling to the top or bottom of a webpage.  Courtesy / Handout

Since then, Apple and Samsung have taken each other to federal court twice in the last two years, and juries from those battles in San Jose, Calif., have awarded Apple a total of $930 million in damages.

Apple may have won the latest battle in its patent wars with Samsung, but the war is far from over. Expect these battles to increase in frequency and intensity as the companies intend to explore new verticals in mobile technology, including wearables like smart watches, and patents will once again be at a premium.

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