A Seoul Court ruled Friday that while both Samsung’s and Apple’s devices look similar, Samsung is not in violation of stealing the design, Reuters reported. The judge ruled that consumers were not likely to confused the two products as each device has clear company logos, and that such factors as price, operating systems, services and performance were natural considerations in consumer selection.
“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,” a judge at the Seoul Central District Court said on Friday. “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.”
The court comes just ahead of expected US verdicts in deliberation that began this week. Apple sued Samsung in US federal court for $2.5 billion in damages over claims the company had stolen its designs. A judge later granted an injunction against Samsung to halt the US launch of the Galaxy S III.
However, the judge hit both companies with patent violations and halted certain sales for each. Apple was found to have infringed on two of Samsung’s wireless technology patents and fined $35,400. Samsung was found to have violated one Apple patent related to a bouncing back function for scrolling documents.
Samsung was ordered to immediately halt the South Korean sale of 10 products that include the Galaxy S II. Apple was ordered stop halt sales of four products that include the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. All sales bans were on out-dated products, as Apple’s iPhone 4S and its latest version of the iPad came out after the South Korean lawsuit was filed.
“We welcome today’s ruling, which affirms our position that Apple has been using our mobile telecommunications standards patents without having obtained the necessary licenses,” Samsung said in a statement. “Today’s ruling also affirmed our position that one single company cannot monopolize generic design features.”