SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s Samsung won a home court ruling in its global smartphone battle against Apple on Friday when judges in Seoul said the company didn’t copy the look and feel of the U.S. company’s iPhone, and that Apple infringed on Samsung’s wireless technology.
However, in a split decision on patents, the panel also said Samsung violated Apple technology behind the bounce-back feature when scrolling on touch screens, and ordered both sides to pay limited damages.
The Seoul Central District Court ruling called for a partial ban on sales of products including iPads and smartphones from both companies, though the verdict did not affect the latest-generation phones — Apple’s iPhone 4S or Samsung’s Galaxy S3.
The ruling affects only the South Korean market, and is part of a larger, epic struggle over patents and innovation unfolding in nine countries. The biggest stakes are in the U.S., where Apple is suing Samsung for $2.5 billion over allegations it has created illegal knockoffs of iPhones and iPads.
The Seoul ruling was a rare victory for Samsung in its arguments that Apple has infringed on its wireless technology patents, which previously have been shot down by courts in Europe where judges have ruled that they are part of industry standards that must be licensed under fair terms to competitors.
The ruling ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from store shelves in South Korea, saying that the products infringed on two of Samsung’s five disputed patents, including those for telecommunications technology.
“It is not possible to assert that these two designs are similar based only on the similarity of those features,” the court said in a ruling issued in Korean that was translated into English by The Associated Press. It also said individual icons in the Samsung products do not appear similar to the icons Apple used in the iPhone.
But the court ruled that Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung had infringed on one of Apple’s patents on the feature that causes a screen to bounce back when a user scrolls to an end image. The court banned sales of Samsung products using the technology, including the Galaxy S2, in South Korea.
“Today’s ruling also affirmed our position that one single company cannot monopolize generic design features,” he said.
Apple did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment.View Entire Story
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