Money Matters - Simplified

Court imposes partial ban on Apple, Samsung products in S Korea

The ban does not cover the sale of the recent models launched including Apple's iPhone 4S and iPad 3, and Samsung’s Galaxy S3.

In a split ruling, a South Korean court has fined both the tech giants Samsung Electronics and Apple for infringement of each other’s patent.

The Seoul Central District Court banned the sale of some of their products in the country and ordered the rivals to pay small damages.

Apple was asked to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from store shelves in South Korea for violating patents relating to telecommunications technology held by Samsung.

The court also banned sales of Samsung’s Galaxy SI and Galaxy Tab 10.1 in South Korea for infringing one of Apple’s patents related to the screen’s bounce-back feature.

However, they dismissed Apple’s allegation that Samsung had copied the design, shape and big display screen of the iPhone and iPad.

“The rest of [Apple’s] claims [on design patents] are invalid because most features already appeared in previous inventions by Japanese companies and European firms,” Judge Bae Joon-Hyun said.

The ban does not cover the sale of the recent models launched including Apple's iPhone 4S and iPad 3, and Samsung’s Galaxy S3.

Monetary compensation
The court ordered both rivals to pay monetary compensation to each other. Samsung has been directed to pay Apple 25 million won (£14,000) while Apple must pay Samsung 40 million won (£22,000).

The two tech giants had sought a compensation of 100 million won, or about $90,000, from each other.

Legal experts not directly involved in the case believe the ruling was favorable to Samsung, since courts in Europe rejected had rejected their claims that Apple violated its wireless patents.

“This is basically Samsung’s victory on its home territory,” said patent attorney Jeong Woo-sung. “Out of nine countries, Samsung got the ruling that it wanted for the first time in South Korea.

Meanwhile, large money is at stake in US where the two companies are locked in a patent dispute in a federal court in San Jose, California.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion compensation from Samsung for selling patent-infringing products. Samsung argues Apple must be fined $422 million for violating a number of its patents.

The court heard closing arguments Wednesday and jury is currently weighing evidence.

Apple-Samsung war
The legal war between Apple and Samsung continues unabated. The two are locked in 20 fierce patent litigation cases 10 countries including the United States, Japan, France and Australia.

It began in April last when Apple filed a suit against Samsung in the United States, openly accusing the tech giant of blatantly copying the designs of its iPhone and iPad devices.

Samsung isn’t taking it lying down. The electronics company has also filed suits against Apple for violating multiple wireless technology patents.

The patent battle has not affected their commercial ties so far. Samsung is Apple’s largest supplier of components used in its iPad and iPhone products.