Samsung Electronics

Samsung loses Apple patent suit in Seoul court, in latest legal setback

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 11:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

A Seoul court has rejected Samsung's claim that iPhone and iPad models violated three of its patents, another setback for the South Korean electronics giant in a global battle with Apple over rights to technologies that power smartphones and tablets.

A Seoul Central District Court judge ruled yesterday that Apple did not violate Samsung's intellectual property rights. The technology in two of Samsung's patents could be developed easily from other inventions, Judge Shim Woo-yong said, making it unlikely they were copied. He said one patent was not used in the iPad.

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

Samsung sued Apple in March last year, accusing the iPhone maker of illegally using three patented technologies related to short message services in smartphones and tablet computers. The maker of Galaxy smartphones sought 100 million won (HK$736,500) in initial compensation and a ban on sales of six iPhone and iPad models, which included models still available in the market, such as those with Retina display.

The judge said Samsung's patent for a multitasking technology that prevents incomplete messages being lost when switching to another application was not violated by the existence of a similar technology. Another technology that enables users to touch a notification box to access a message can be invented easily, he said.

A third Samsung patent for how devices display short messages from the same sender together was not even used in the iPad, which instead has Apple's iMessage application, Shim said.

The ruling is the latest blow to Samsung, which owes Apple US$930 million from two jury verdicts in Silicon Valley. Samsung is seeking to appeal both.