24 August 2012 10:17
A court in South Korea has ordered a partial ban on both Apple and Samsung products in the country, after ruling that the companies had infringed each other's patents. The lawsuit is part of a global multibillion-pound fight between the world's two largest smartphone makers which has been unfolding in nearly a dozen countries, including a crucial battle in the US courts.
Seoul Central District Court ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from stores in South Korea, ruling that the products infringed on two of Samsung's five disputed patents, including those for telecommunications technology.
The court also denied Apple's claim that Samsung had illegally copied its design, and that the shape and big display screen existed in products before the iPhone and iPad.
But the court also ruled that South Korean firm Samsung infringed one of Apple's patents related to the screen's bounce-back feature, which causes the screen to bounce back when a user scrolls to an end image.
The court banned sales of products using the technology, including the Galaxy S2, in South Korea.
Legal experts not directly involved in the case said the ruling is favourable to Samsung since the company has won rare recognition from a court – that Apple infringed its wireless patents, which had been denied by courts in Europe.
"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."
Courts in Europe rejected similar claims by Samsung that Apple violated its wireless patents, because many of the patents are considered to be industry standards. Industry-standard patents are a crucial technology for new players to make products compatible with the rest of the market and must be licensed under fair and reasonable terms.