Apple vs. Samsung

Just in case you can't get enough Apple vs. Samsung news, the Seoul District Court has now laid out a split decision for both parties involved. Both Apple and Samsung have been found guilty of infringing on each others patents.

As part of the decision, Apple will no longer be allowed to offer their infringing products in South Korea that include the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 as well as the first two generations of the iPad. Something that shouldn't bother Apple all that much, given those devices are no longer sale anyhow. In addition to that, Apple will be required to pay a sum of about $35,000 to Samsung.

While that may sound like a small win for Samsung, they're not off the hook entirely either. Samsung will have to stop selling the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to the decided infringement of Apple's elastic scrolling patent, but the court ruled they didn't copy Apple designs or violate their trade dress. Like Apple, Samsung will have to fork over damages as well to the tune of about $22,000.

This isn't likely to be the end though, as the courts differ in South Korea. Either side could technically file an appeal through the appeals court and keeping it going even further, all the way to the South Korea Supreme Court if they wanted to push it.

Source: WSJ, Bloomberg via: iMore


Reader comments

South Korean court rules on Apple v. Samsung patent infringement


For the Galaxy Nexus, is't that running pure Android OS? Google should be involved with that device. Google will just have to complete the roll out of Jelly Bean for the Galaxy Nexus, if they have not already. I see a touchwiz update on it's way, for the rest of the Samsung lineup affected.

This makes two different countries that have now ruled that Samsung is not copying Apple's designs.

Finally a decision that make some sense to these nonsense. and I like how the court made light of the payout, had me a good laugh!

A nice kicker to this result - would be both Apple and Samsung winning a few points each, in the US case. BUT . .

Apple and Samsung are awarded 1 US dollar each in punitive damages, a full and final settlement (That payment MUST be handed to the opposing CEO in person, at a private neutral undisclosed location deep in Siberia). If, for ANY reason, the exchange does not happen - ALL patents, design registrations and other bullsh** - in dispute by both companies are CANCELLED forever worldwide.

Better still if both CEOs attended the meeting; and were never seen or heard from again. Enough of this stupidity.

Here's the problem with this ruling:

The court found that Samsung violated a proprietary Apple patent, which Apple does not have to license and can easily work around.

The court found that Apple violated a standards-essential Samsung patent, which Samsung is required to license under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-descriminatory) terms, and Apple cannot work around if they want their phones to connect to networks.

To put it in context, Apple built a private pool in their backyard, caught Samsung swimming in it, and won their case.

Samsung built a community pool under the condition that they'd allow equal access, then said Apple couldn't swim in it unless Samsung could swim in Apple's private pool, in their house.

It effectively destroys the idea of standards-based patent pools.

Samsung isn't the only company with standards essential patents (SEP). 

Regardless of what you feel about Apple or Samsung, this ruling, if upheld, should give every gadget lover pause (especially in Korea). 

Imagine some other company decides they don't want the next Galaxy phone to connect to Wi-Fi? The next HTC to be able to use LTE?

I can only imagine what patent trolls might think of this decision...


But you totally missed the point! The way the judge awarded each company, it equates to a huge waste of money in legal fees on both sides. the next few idiots who wants to headbutt each other in this way, will be far more serious about their issue than these two little children (Samsung, but especially Apple).

But here is my understanding, in your example, in a more appropriate timeline:

1. Samsung built a public pool.
2. Apple decides to swim in it.
3. Apple decides to built its own private pool and still swim in Samsung's.
4. Samsung decides to rebuilt its one of its own pool to emulate that of Apple's.
5. Apple decides that Samsung is ripping off its benefits, and start legal action.
6. Samsung decides to charge Apple extra for swimming in its pool.
7. Apple claims Samsung's public pool should be accessible to all.

Now both of them are drowning....

I think the patent wars CLEARLY are a threat to the concept of FRAND licensing.

Samsung or Motorola or any other company that has traditionally cooperated in creating new standards technology realize the value of defensive patents has gone up and FRAND patents has gone down. Apple is forcing their hand, at the detriment of the consumer in my opinion.

I bet Samsung was completely caught off guard by Apple attempting to patent the entire cell phone and tablet casing that contain the LCD panels they manufacture. Saying Apple is attempting to own the rounded cornered rectangle for all mobile purposes is not an understatement. Hopefully, legally, even lay people on juries now understand that the differences between smartphones will always be very subtle by necessity.

I'm also hoping everyone is found 100% not guilty in San Jose.

Rene, the problem with your analogy is that the public pool was never free. Yes Apple made their own pool with great advertising and a innovative wave maker.

The FRAND fee was offered the same for Apple as for everyone else. Apple tried to say that by being hardware channel partners with Samsung, that Samsung should give them a lesser fee than everyone else. Apple argued that Samsung was willing to undercut the going FRAND fee for some of their other channel partners (like Motorola for eg.), to hense Samsung replied that it was a cross-license discount, meaning that the other entity had FRAND patents Samsung needed.

Back to the analogy:
Apple paid gads of money buying needed pool supplies from Samsung, and now in turn wants to get into the public pool for a discounted fee. In the years of contention that have passed, Apple spun their case to make it look like they were the victim. All the while Apple has not paid for use of the public pool at all.