No One Wins in South Korea’s Chapter of Apple vs. Samsung
Although the trial in a San Jose, Calif. courtroom has been garnering the lion’s share of attention lately in the ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung, the two companies have ongoing litigation worldwide. One of those skirmishes, in South Korea, just reached a verdict.
A South Korean court delivered a split decision between the two electronics giants, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. A three-person judicial panel ruled Apple violated two of Samsung’s patents while Samsung violated one of Apple’s. The court said each side must pay the other damages, but more importantly, it said some specific products must be taken off store shelves in the country.
All of the products affected are about a generation old. On Apple’s side, the court banned the company from selling the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and both the iPad 2 and original iPad in South Korea, and Samsung can no longer sell the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus smartphone, nor the Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets.
The ruling was also quite clear about consumer confusion, debunking an Apple claim (in many court cases, including the one in San Jose) that Samsung products resemble Apple’s so closely that customers might mistake one for the other. The court said there was simply no possibility of that happening. It also ruled the design of Samsung’s app icons doesn’t infringe on Apple patents.
The financial damages are a pittance for the multibillion dollar companies. The court said Apple must pay Samsung about $35,000 total, and Samsung owes Apple $22,000.
Either side may appeal the ruling. Besides South Korea and the U.S., Apple and Samsung have ongoing patent litigation in Germany, Australia and the U.K., among other countries.