South Korea bans Apple's AND Samsung's ageing phones, tabs
Patent court dishes out pocket-change fines too
Both Apple and Samsung got teeny fines and had some of their products banned in South Korea, after a court in Seoul found they infringed on each other's patents.
The South Korean court said that Apple had infringed two of Samsung's wireless patents, while Sammy had infringed on a fruity firm patent related to a "bounce-back" touchscreen feature, Bloomberg, the Financial Times and others reported.
The court decided that Samsung didn't copy the design of the iPhone, but a number of Sammy's older products have been banned along with older iDevices as well.
The iPhone 4S and the latest iPad are safe, as is Samsung's Galaxy SIII, but the judge ordered the firms to immediately stop selling 10 Sammy devices – including the SII – and four Apple devices, including the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
The court also awarded damages to both sides, but only enough to cause a momentary fumble in their pockets. Apple only needs to pay 40m won ($35,000, £22,000) and Samsung just has to hand over 25m won ($22,000, £14,000).
Both firms are able to appeal the decision and as the bans are on older products, neither firm is too inconvenienced for the moment. While South Korea is a big market for Samsung, it's a smaller slice of the Apple pie so even if the bans survive appeal, there's only likely to be a small impact on the companies. By the time the appeal is over, both firms will have more products out, pushing the forbidden devices back even further.
The South Korean court's ruling comes just ahead of the US jury's decision in the Californian court, which is likely to have a much higher impact on the companies. Apple is looking for $2.5bn in damages out of the US case, while Samsung would like $500m if it wins. Bans in the US would also be a bigger hit on their bottom lines than the bans in South Korea are likely to be. ®
Poor reporting El Reg
here is what the judge actually said according to reports with a bit more detail:
"There are lots of external design similarities between the iPhone and Galaxy S, such as rounded corners and large screens... but these similarities had been documented in previous products,
Given that it's very limited to make big design changes in touchscreen based mobile products in general... and the defendant [Samsung] differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and [on the] side, the two products have a different look,"
In other words yet another Judge saying that Samsung did not copy the iphone/ipad design and that any similarities between them have been dictated by function which those of us who are a bit more objective than the brainwashed cult of Apple have been saying all along. Don't agree that Samsung infringed on anything as the 'bounce-back' patent should never have been awarded.
It's telling that the first thing I thought of when reading this was the fights I used to have with my siblings over some crappy toys.
Very quickly my mum would barge in and take all the toys away, and we'd get no dessert with tea.
That fact an incident between 8 year old can have any parallels with a dispute between supposedly mature companies is a sad indictment indeed for the companies.
Frankly, both companies deserve this, but the fines should have been way, way Bigger to discourage future childish squabbles.
No bounce back
Indeed, this is one of the major gripes I have with my ancient Samsung Spica: It won't bounce back.
If I try to bounce it off the floor, the battery cover (and sometimes the battery) comes off. Is it worth to pay big-$ for a bouncing phone? I don't know, you fanbois tell me.