Apple and Samsung fined over patents


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The Independent Online

A tit-for-tat spat between Apple and Samsung has resulted in both companies being fined and their products banned from being sold in South Korea.

A judge ruled that the two largest smartphone makers had infringed each other's patents on mobile devices.

The Seoul central district court ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from shelves in South Korea, saying 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" function, which lets users know that they have reached the end of a screen.

However, the court ruled against Apple's claims that Samsung had copied the designs of its products.

Apple was told to pay 40m won (£22,000) in damages to its South Korean rival, while Samsung was told to pay Apple 25m won.

"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," the Korean judge ruled.

"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."