Date: Friday 24 Aug 2012
The long-running patents battle between consumer electronics titans Apple and Samsung looks set to run deep into extra time after an inconclusive outcome to a court clash in South Korea.
The two companies have been engaged in tit-for-tat accusations of patent infringements and it turns out that, in the view of a South Korea course at least, they were both right: Apple has infringed Samsung'g patents and Samsung has infringed Apple's.
US firm Apple, now the most highly valued quoted firm of all time, was found guilty by the court of infringing two of Samsung's wireless patents, while Korean behemoth Samsung was found guilty of infringing one Apple patent, relating to a "bounce-back" touch-screen feature.
So, a home win for Samsung then ... but this contest is likely to take place over several legs, with the pair squaring off in court rooms all over the world. A court in California is set to deliver its verdict on the Patent Wars in the near future.
The big verdict relating to whether Samsung has copied the design of Apple's phenomenally successful iPhone, went in Samsung's favour, but the court did order Samsung to stop selling a number of its older products (Smartphones Galaxy SI & SII, plus the Galaxy Tab and Tab 10.1 tablet devices) in South Korea, while Apple had some of its older electronic products (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2) banned as well because of patent infringements.
Damages were awarded to both sides but for trivial amounts: Samsung got fined around £14,000 and Apple around £22,000. The California court decision is likely to be of a much more serious nature, with Apple looking for more than $2.5bn in damages and Samsung claiming $500m in damages.
Apple will be able to continue selling its iPhone 4S and its iPad tablet device in South Korea - a not especially key market for the firm - and Samsung will be able to continue selling its flagship Galaxy SIII mobile phone in its home market.
Both firms are expected to appeal against the bans of older products, and by the time those appeals have been heard it is likely the pair will have a whole new batch of patent disputes to squabble over.
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