In South Korea, Apple And Samsung Both Violated Patents
August 24, 2012

Apple And Samsung: From In A Relationship, To Its Complicated

John Neumann for - Your Universe Online

From “In a relationship.”

Cupertino California-based Apple relies heavily on Samsung to manufacturer many of the components that have propelled the company to become perhaps one of the most influential and successful companies ever.

That same Samsung is also responsible for manufacturing Apple´s greatest rivaling products and Apple contends that many of its patents have been infringed in creating those similar mobile devices.

Samsung has become the world´s largest manufacturer of computer memory and liquid crystal displays, supplies that are purchased for use in Apple products, including mobile chips that work as a brain of the iPhone and the iPad.

To “Its complicated.”

Amidst similar showdowns taking place in courtrooms around the globe, a South Korean judge has ordered a temporary halt in sales of mobile devices, including the iPhone 4 and Galaxy S, in the seemingly never-ending court battles of plaintiffs Apple and Samsung.

The ruling cites that Apple and Samsung have both infringed on each other´s patents and orders small monetary damages and an embarrassing, but temporary, halt in sales of products including iPads and smartphones from both companies, reports AP.

The verdict did not affect the latest-generation smartphones from the companies, Apple´s iPhone 4S or Samsung´s Galaxy S3.

Apple was found by the court to have violated two of South Korea-based Samsung´s wireless patents, while Samsung was rebuked for infringing one utility patent held by Apple. Apple´s claims that Samsung copied its designs were denied.

Although the verdicts are to take effect immediately, some “processing time” will be required for the court to apply the actual sales ban in retail stores, according to Kim Mun-sung, a court spokesman. It is “highly likely” that both companies will petition the court against the injunction ruling, Kim added.

Tech pundits said the utility patents that Samsung infringed are not essential and the company can work around them for future products, reports Yewon Kang for IDG News Service. The 3G and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) patents that Apple is said to have infringed require a license and could be more troublesome.

For those keeping score, today´s ruling for Samsung was uncommon, but not unexpected coming from where it came from.

Courts in Europe, including Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany have rejected similar claims by Samsung that Apple violated its wireless patents, with judges arguing that the patents have become part of industry standards.

Standard-essential 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.

“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.”

Patent trials between the two tech giants are currently taking place in the US and in Australia this month, with jury deliberation ongoing in a San Jose, California courtroom.