Reuters is reporting that Samsung’s lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, aiming to ban Apple phones and tablets, has been lost. The case dates back to the patent wars of 2011 where Apple and Samsung sued each for patent infringement other around the world.
Samsung’s claims revolved around messaging and content display. The judge said Apple’s devices do not violate the claims. The court threw out the possibility of a sales ban as well as rejecting damages totalling just under $100,000.
Samsung is currently deciding whether to appeal. Unsurprisingly, Apple was pleased with the decision.
“We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Apple Korea spokesman Steve Park said.
The Korea Timesreports that Apple may consider moving its displays over to OLED from LCD. Samsung, Apple’s biggest display provider, is ramping up OLED production to the point where it could meet Apple’s demand numbers.
Thanks to the increased volume, chances have been raised to ship Samsung’s OLEDs for Apple’s iPads and even iPhones, said unnamed Samsung executives on the condition of anonymity.
`So far, Apple has questions over an output commitment and product volume as Samsung’s OLED business isn’t on full track. But chances have risen to break the wall,’’ said one Samsung executive.
Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying $7.8 billion of components such as memory chips and LCDs in 2011. This year, it will buy around $11 billion of Samsung parts despite the deepening legal battle between the two companies.
Apple is using LCDs in most of its i-branded products. It’s known that Apple previously denied Samsung’s offer to use OLEDs as the American firm believes OLEDs have some “technological problems.’’
Apple spokesman Steve Park declined to comment.
I am sure Apple’s display requirements are not just demand-based. Those “technical problems” mentioned above likely include “Retina”-type pixel density resolutions and similar color accuracy of LCD. While OLED displays are often impressive to look at, sometimes they are oversaturated in color. Moreover, I have never heard of a model that nears 300PPI.
Samsung made a formal request with the U.S. District Court in California for Apple to reveal the intricacies of its contract with wireless chipmaker Qualcomm, who currently supplies chips for the iPhone 4S, CDMA iPhone 4, and iPad 2. Qualcomm is currently in a cross licensing agreement with Samsung, bringing up the question of whether “Apple’s buying Qualcomm chips is as good as paying for the patents.” The documents could potentially reveal Apple’s plans to move to Qualcomm LTE chips in future iOS devices.
Specifically, Samsung defense lawyer Dylan Ruga wants to know if Apple is considered a “Qualcomm Customer,” a term that is “defined in certain licensing agreements between Samsung and Qualcomm.” The request was discovered in court documents by Korea Times and later confirmed by Samsung Electronics spokesperson Lim Yoon-jeong. Korea Times reported:
Samsung Electronics is alleging that Apple has infringed on Samsung-owned patents that relate to technology embodied in chipsets used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The documents are expected to determine whether Apple is in fact a direct customer of Qualcomm — and potentially immune from Samsung’s suits — or whether it purchased its chips through an intermediary.
Here is an excerpt from the document that has not been released by the courts: Expand Expanding Close
(We got a look at the Tab 7.7 before it was pulled)
Apple won a pretty significant victory today in its attempts to block Samsung from selling its iPad competitor products in Germany and in greater Europe. This week’s IFA show is a CES-like pan-European event which showcases new consumer products from just about everyone except Apple.
Most of the buzz this year however is around two of Samsung’s new products, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Note 5.3. Both have 1280×800 SuperAMOLED Displays and run Android 3.2 but the Tab falls under the line of products that Apple is trying to block and is currently under a set of injunctions in various parts of the world.
Interestingly, Samsung was originally showing the 7.7 devices to reporters with “not for sale in Germany” stickers attached. However last night, Samsung started removing the devices from the floor and covering up the advertisements like the product never existed (below).
It appears that Apple got Samsung to block the whole Tab line. The Tab 7.7 is much smaller than the iPad weighing only 334 grams, yet has a higher resolution screen – so it appears that Apple’s injunction is very broad.
Samsung, Apple’s closest rival in tablet computers, pulled the just-unveiled Galaxy Tab 7.7 out of the IFA consumer- electronics show in Berlin after a Dusseldorf court on Sept. 2 granted Apple’s request to ban sales and marketing of the product, James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, said by telephone today.
“Samsung respects the court’s decision,” Chung said, adding that the company believes it “severely limits consumer choice in Germany.” Samsung will pursue all available options, including legal action, to defend its intellectual property rights, he said.
It will be interesting to see what direction this goes. Will Apple be able to successfully block Samsung’s (and others’) tablets for sale across the world? There is some concern that if Apple doesn’t win in these cases, damages to Samsung could be significant.