Samsung, Apple hit by South Korean sales bans - Mobile World Live

Samsung, Apple hit by South Korean sales bans

24 AUG 2012

Apple and Samsung have been hit by sales bans in South Korea after a judge ruled that both companies had infringed each other’s technology patents, reports Reuters.

Samsung has been ordered to stop selling ten products, including the Galaxy S2 smartphone, immediately, while Apple must stop selling four products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Apple has been found to have infringed two of Samsung’s wireless technology patents and must pay the South Korean company KRW40 million (US$35,400) in compensation, while Samsung has been fined KRW25 million for violating a single Apple patent related to the “bouncing-back” function when scrolling through electronic documents.

The small amount of compensation sought by each company is due to the relatively small size of the South Korean market.

The lawsuit arose when Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its iPhone with the Galaxy smartphones in April last year. The court in Seoul said that there are similarities between the devices but not enough for Samsung to have violated the iPhone design.

"Given that it's very limited to make big design changes in touchscreen-based mobile products in general … and the defendant (Samsung) differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and (on the) side, the two products have a different look," the judge said.

The judge added that the fact that the iPhone and Galaxy devices feature different logos and that consumers factor-in operating systems, brand, apps, price and services in their purchasing decisions means the devices are sufficiently differentiated.

Apple and Samsung are currently battling in court in the US over similar allegations, with the case now being considered by the jury.
Apple is demanding more than US$2.5 million in damages, with Samsung seeking US$422 million from the iPhone maker.

The companies have also been battling in other markets including Australia, Germany and Japan.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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