Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) scored a partial victory in the infringement battle, after a court in South Korea decided that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) infringed two of its rival’s technical patents.
District Court Judge Bae Jun-hyun ordered Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to pay 40 million won ($35,279) to Samsung, and to remove all its of its patent infringing products in South Korea, including iPhone 3S, iPhone 4, and iPad 1 and 2. The decision of the court does not include the iPhone 4S.
Judge Bae also ruled out the Apple’s allegations that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) copied its design. The district court judge cited Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones may have had similarities, such as rounded corners and large displays, with Apple’s iPhones, but they have a distinguishing feature. Bae pointed out Samsung Galaxy’s middle button made its appearance unique from the iPhone.
The judge explained, “There are lots of external design similarities between the iPhone and Galaxy S, such as rounded corners and large screens … but these similarities had been documented in previous products.”
“Given that it’s very hard to make big design changes in touch-screen based mobile products in general … and the defendant (Samsung) differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and (on the) side, the two products have a different look.”
The judge also said it is implausible for consumers to get confused and not being able to tell which one is, either iPhone or Galaxy, because the smartphones are marked with their own company logo on the back. According to him, consumers also consider the applications, brand, price, and the operating system before purchasing their mobile devices.
On the other side of the coin, the same court ruled that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) breached Apple’s bounce-back patent, and ordered the South Korean electronics company to pay the iPhone maker 25 million won. He also banned the sale of Galaxy S2 and other products in the country.
Samsung and Apple filed more than 50 patent infringement lawsuit suits against each other in 10 countries, including South Korea. The South Korean court’s decision involved the patent infringement lawsuits filed by Samsung against Apple in April, and by Apple against Samsung in June this year.
In the United States, the patent war between the two companies is more complicated and expensive. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeking $2.5 billion damages from Samsung for allegedly infringing seven of its patents. Samsung countered Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a lawsuit claiming that its rival violated its telecommunications patents. The legal counsel for both parties delivered their final arguments to the jury last Wednesday, August 22 after three weeks of court hearing. A nine-member jury is deliberating the merits of the case.