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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apple, Samsung products banned in South Korea

A South Korean court ruled on Friday that technology rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics both infringed on each other's patents, and ordered a partial ban of their products in South Korea.

The Seoul Central District Court ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2 from shelves in South Korea, citing they infringed two of Samsung's telecommunications patents. The court also ruled that Samsung infringed one of Apple's patents related to the screen's bouncing back ability and banned sales of the Galaxy S2 and 9 other products in South Korea.

Sales of devices recently released by Samsung and Apple -- including the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S3 smartphones -- were not affected.

The court also ordered the two parties to pay monetary compensation to each other. Samsung must pay Apple 25 million won ($22,000) while Apple must pay its rival 40 million won.

The lawsuit is part of global, multibillion dollar fight between the world's two largest smartphone makers. The biggest stakes are in the US, however, where the two companies are locked in an epic struggle over patents and innovation in a federal court in San Jose, California.

Cupertino-based Apple sued Samsung in 2011 in the US, alleging that some of the South Korean company's smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of Apple's iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the allegations and argues that all companies in the cutthroat phone industry mimic each other's successes without crossing the legal line.

Apple is suing Suwon-based Samsung for $2.5 billion, making the case one of the biggest technology disputes in history. Jury deliberations began Wednesday after three weeks of testimony.

Days after Apple filed its suit in the US, Samsung filed a lawsuit on its home turf and in other countries, accusing Apple of breaching its telecommunications patents.