Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Seoul court rules in favor of Apple

AP, SEOUL

A Seoul court yesterday rejected Samsung Electronic Co’s claim that Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad models violated three of its patents, another setback for the South Korean electronics giant in a global battle with its US rival over the rights to technologies that power smartphones and tablets.

A Seoul Central District Court judge ruled that Apple did not violate Samsung’s intellectual property rights. The technology in two of Samsung’s patents could be developed easily from other inventions, Judge Shim Woo-yong said, making it unlikely that they were copied. He said that one patent was not used in the iPad.

“We are glad the [South] Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Apple spokesman Steve Park said.

Samsung sued Apple in March last year, accusing the iPhone maker of illegally using three patented technologies related to short message services in smartphones and tablet computers.

The maker of Galaxy smartphones sought 100 million won (US$95,000) in initial compensation and a ban on sales of six iPhone and iPad models, which included models still available in the market, such as those with Retina display.

The judge said Samsung’s patent for a multitasking technology that prevents incomplete messages being lost when switching to another application was not violated by the existence of a similar technology.

Another technology that enables users to touch a notification box to access a message can be invented easily, he zccdc.

A third Samsung patent for how mobile devices display short messages from the same sender together was not used in Apple’s iPad, which instead has Apple’s iMessage application, Shim said.

The ruling is the latest legal blow to Samsung, which owes Apple US$930 million from two jury verdicts in Silicon Valley. Samsung is seeking to appeal both.

Last year, another judge at the same Seoul court punished both Apple and Samsung for violating each other’s intellectual property rights.

Samsung said it was disappointed by the ruling and will decide whether to appeal this decision after a thorough review.

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

So far, the two verdicts in Silicon Valley have been the most damaging to the South Korean company. Last month, a Silicon Valley jury added another US$290 million to the damages Samsung owes Apple.

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