Seoul court rules against Samsung on three patents

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Seoul court rules against Samsung on three patents

A Seoul court denied Samsung’s claim yesterday that Apple violated three of its mobile patents related to short message services.

Samsung Electronics lost its bid to ban sales of Apple’s older iPhone and iPad models in Korea after Judge Shim Woo-yong at the Seoul Central District Court said two of Samsung’s patents lacked “progressivity” in their technologies and could be easily developed by others.

He said the third patent on short message display methods and message grouping features was not used in the iPad.

The court said that multitasking technology, used to switch to another application when creating a text message without the message being lost, and technology that enables users to access a message by touching a notification box could easily be developed through Apple’s PDA technology, which was opened to the public in 1999.

It added that when compared to the PDA products sold in the domestic market in 1996 by Apple, the patented technology lacked “progressivity.”

“We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Apple Korea spokesman Steve Park said.

The maker of Galaxy smartphones sued Apple in March 2012, accusing the iPhone maker of illegally using its three mobile patent technologies.

It sought compensation of 100 million won ($94,900) in damages and a ban on the sale of six iPhone and iPad models such as the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad 2 in Korea.

“We are disappointed by the court’s decision. As Apple has continued to infringe our patented mobile technologies, we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights,” said a spokesman for Samsung Electronics.

The ruling is the latest legal blow to Samsung, which owes Apple $930 million from two jury verdicts in Silicon Valley. Samsung is appealing both. In a separate ruling in August 2012, the same court in Seoul ruled against Apple and ordered it to pay Samsung 40 million won in damages for infringing two of the Korean mobile maker’s wireless technology patents.

In the same ruling, Samsung was fined 25 million won for infringing on Apple’s patent related to the so-called bouncing-back function applied to scrolling down touch screens.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a Mannheim court dismissed Apple’s claim that Samsung violated its patent related to selecting the language of a keyboard.

The patent Apple claimed is a technology enabling users to select the desired language to write a message and providing a memory for storing sets of consonants and vowels of each language.

The court decided that the patent infringement was invalid as the preceding technology has existed prior to the patent. Some modified claims by Apple in the process of the trial were also not accepted.

Apple sued Samsung on June 16, 2011, claiming that Samsung violated six of its patents. However, the court has ruled in favor of Samsung for three of the patents.

The ruling is pending for the remaining three patent infringement issues in the Mannheim court.

The world’s top two smartphone makers have waged legal battles since 2011, when Apple first sued Samsung, accusing it of infringing on the design of its iPhones and iPads.

Later, Samsung filed a lawsuit against Apple saying that Samsung’s patent related to telecommunications technology was used in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G. Apple sued Samsung for violating patent technology that provides interfaces on a touch screen.

So far, the two verdicts in Silicon Valley have been the most damaging to the Korean company. Last month, a Silicon Valley jury added another $290 million to the damages Samsung Electronics owes Apple. A previous jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion, which was later reduced by a judge to $640 million.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON, AP [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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