Tue, Jul 10, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Samsung less ‘cool’ than Apple, but wins IPR suit

JUDGE BY THE COVER:The judge ruled in favor of the South Korean firm because its Galaxy tablet did not have the iPad’s simplicity, in what was the US firms’ second loss


Samsung Electronics Co won an intellectual property ruling (IPR) against Apple as a UK judge said the Galaxy tablet is not “cool” enough to be confused with the design for the iPad.

The Galaxy tablet does not infringe Apple’s registered design, Judge Colin Birss yesterday said in a ruling in London. He said that consumers were not likely to get the two tablet computers mixed up.

The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity as the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”

The ruling came after HTC Corp (宏達電) last week won a London court ruling against Apple over patents for touch screen technology used for its mobile devices, including Apple’s slide-to-unlock feature.

HTC devices do not infringe upon four Apple patents for the technology and three of those patents are invalid, Judge Christopher Floyd said on Wednesday last week.

Apple is fighting patent lawsuits around the world against rivals, including Samsung and HTC, as it competes for dominance of the smartphone and tablet computer markets. The firms have accused each other of copying designs and technology used in mobile devices.

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of televisions and mobile phones, yesterday dropped for a third day in Seoul trading amid concerns that a global economic slowdown may crimp sales, while shares in HTC, Asia’s second-largest smartphone maker, fell to its lowest in more than two years in Taipei trading after posting its third consecutive profit decline.

Samsung fell 3 percent to 1,126,000 won, the lowest closing price since Feb. 14, while the benchmark Kospi index declined 1.2 percent. The stock has gained 6.4 percent this year. Meanwhile, HTC lost 5.6 percent to NT$304 at the close of trading in Taipei, the lowest mark since March 2010.

Last week, Samsung posted second-quarter sales of 47 trillion won (US$41 billion), trailing the 49.8 trillion-won average of 35 analyst estimates as compiled by Bloomberg. Operating profits rose 79 percent from a year earlier to a record 6.7 trillion won.

For HTC, second-quarter net income fell 58 percent to NT$7.4 billion (US$247 million), the company reported on Friday last week after cutting its revenue guidance by 13 percent a month earlier.

“We do not see any turnaround opportunities for HTC in the second half,” BNP Paribas analyst Laura Chen (陳佳儀) wrote in a report yesterday.

“We see risk on potential product delays and competitors’ aggressive new product push, such as the new Galaxy note and the iPhone 5,” Chen wrote.

HTC’s third-quarter revenue will probably drop by 27 percent to NT$96.5 billion, according to the average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

HTC is rated sell by 21 of 37 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, while four recommend buying the stock.

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