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Apple, Samsung each score home court win in patent suit

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple? Samsung? tablet market?

Electronics bigwigs Apple and Samsung both can claim victory in their respective mother countries concerning their high-profile patent infringement battle. A panel of judges from the Seoul Central District Court ruled that though Samsung had infringed on an Apple patent covering how the touchscreen moves while scrolling, Apple is also at fault for copying Samsung's wireless technology. A nine-person jury in the U.S. federal court, however, concluded that many Samsung phones in question violated most of Apple's design and utility patents.

Taking advantage of the ruling, Apple yesterday filed an injunction against Samsung to ban sales of eight older smartphone models including the Galaxy S2 and Droid Charge. The judge in the case set a September 20 hearing to determine whether Apple's claim is valid. Samsung said it will appeal the decision, saying the verdict will lead to "fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices."

Meanwhile in South Korea, as a result of the local judges' ruling, both companies face sales bans in the country for products released prior to the filing of the suit. These include the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad2 on the Apple front and Samsung's Galaxy S, SII, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The judges also invalidated Apple's claim that Samsung had illegally copied its design, ruling that big rectangular screens in cases with rounded corners had existed in products before the iPhone and iPad.

The decision validates the strength of at least four Apple patents in the case, the exception being a design patent on the industrial design of the iPad. The jury also found that Samsung violated registered and unregistered trade dress, a reference to product "look and feel," on both the original and 3GS iPhones. The jurors did not buy Apple's argument about the look and feel of the iPad, however.

Apple did not infringe any of the five utility patents Samsung alleged, including two patents Samsung considered part of the 3G cellular standard. However, the jury found that Apple failed to show that the patents were invalid or that Samsung had broken contractual agreements or antitrust law regarding how the Korean company pursued the patents and their licensing.

Apple and Samsung both worked hard to show the other side's patents were invalid, bringing in many examples of what they claimed were prior art along with expert witnesses, including top academics. Ultimately, the jury held that all patents were valid.

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