Samsung Electronics lost the second round of its lawsuit over patent disputes with Apple on its home turf. In the first round battle focusing on “standard patents” in August last year, the local court ruled that Apple infringed on two of Samsung’s patents, while Samsung also violated a bounce-back feature-related patent held by Apple. Both firms appealed the court’s decision.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled on December 12 that Apple did not infringe on three patents held by Samsung in the second round battle centered on “common-use patents,” of which Samsung entertained great expectations. In March last year, Samsung filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the US-based IT giant copied its patents for the iPad 2, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
The three patents under legal dispute in the Korean court include one on being able to use the search bar while texting (patent 808), notifying users when the user’s settings are changing (patent 646), and the technology to form a group message (patent 700). The court said that two of the three patented technologies held by Samsung did not show any “innovation” in technology, and the other one was not adopted by Apple.
More specifically, the court ruled that Patent 808 does not show any special innovation considering that any technician can develop the functionality of Patent 808 based on Apple’s PDA technology open to the public since 1999. Regarding Patent 646, the court also said that the patent has no innovative technology when compared to PDA products Apple sold in 1996. As for Patent 700, the court judged that Apple did not infringe on Samsung’s patent because some parts of the patent do not constitute Apple’s products.
Right after the ruling by the Seoul Central District Court, the legal agency of Samsung Electronics said, “We will review all options possible and take legal steps to secure and protect Samsung’s patented technologies,” adding, “We’ll appeal against the decision.”
In the meantime, Samsung Electronics won patent lawsuits in a Mannheim court in Germany on December 11 (local time). The German court ruled against Apple in the lawsuit filed by Apple that Samsung unlawfully imitated its patented technologies. At court trials in Korea and Germany held around the same time, the two sides recorded one win and one loss against each other.
The two mobile giants have been involved in a multi-billion-dollar patent war in the courts of more than 10 countries, including the US, Germany, and Japan.
In Apple’s turf back in November this year, a US district court’s jury issued a verdict ordering Samsung Electronics to pay Apple US$290 million in damages, saying that Samsung Electronics copied key features of iPhone and iPad devices.
The amount falls short of the US$379.8 million requested by Apple, but is much higher than the U$52.7 million Samsung argued that it should pay.
In August 2012, a jury at the U.S. District Court for Northern California awarded Apple US$1.05 billion. However, Judge Lucy Koh ordered a new trial and allowed only US$640 million in partial judgment in March this year. If Koh accepts the jury’s new verdict, Samsung will have to pay a total of US$930 million. A ruling is expected early next year.