Samsung Fails To Get Older iPhones Banned In South Korea

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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The judge rules that two of the patents asserted by Samsung are invalid, and the third was never infringed

Samsung has lost a lawsuit in its home country of South Korea, in which it claimed Apple violated three of its mobile patents.

The company asked Seoul Central District Court for a ban on six devices including the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad 2, as well as 100 million won (£58,000) in damages. The judge ruled that two of the patents were invalid, and a third was not infringed at all.

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

Home disadvantage

The South Korea lawsuit is part of an ongoing patent war that started in 2011, after Apple claimed that Samsung’s popular Galaxy smartphone copied iPhone design features.

iphone-5Last year, the two companies exchanged accusations in the same Seoul court, with Apple forced to pay Samsung 40 million won (£23,200) for infringing two of its patents, and Samsung fined 25 million won ($14,500) for using one Apple innovation without a license.

In its latest legal attack, Samsung claimed that several Apple products infringed on three non-standard-essential (non-SEP) patents related to text messaging. “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 statement from the company.

However, Samsung failed to convince the judge that the patents were relevant – in two cases, the ‘inventions’ were so obvious they could have been developed by anyone.

Earlier this week, a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that Samsung didn’t infringe on a non-SEP related to the choice of languages in a smartphone.

According to patent law expert Florian Mueller, Samsung has never successfully asserted any non-SEP patent in its battle against Apple. In contrast, Apple has scored multiple wins over its competitor, leading some to believe that its claims of being “copied” aren’t without merit.

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