Open Source News Desk
Court Decision Makes Korea a ‘FRAND Rogue State’: FOSS Patents
Apple just lost an infringement case in Korea, Samsung’s home turf
By: Maureen O'Gara
Aug. 27, 2012 08:00 AM
On the day it won a billion-dollar jury decision against Samsung for patent infringement in the week it became the most valuable company ever on the stock exchange, Apple lost an infringement case in Korea, Samsung’s home turf.
Three South Korean judges Friday split their previously postponed decision between Samsung and Apple and declared they infringed each other’s mobile patents.
They awarded slight damages but said the companies must stop selling the infringing products in South Korea, none of them the latest model devices.
The problem is that the Seoul Central District Court held Apple infringed two Samsung patents on wireless communication technology that Samsung pledged as essential to the 3G/UMTS standard. Samsung has demanded Apple pay egregiously high fees to license the patents, which is why Apple has refused to pay.
It’s also why Samsung is being investigated by the European Commission and the Justice Department.
FOSS Patents says that decision turns South Korea into a rogue state and Apple may have to pull out of the market or bow to the “extortion of Samsung and LG.”
The blog figures there will be “diplomatic repercussions.”
It says, “What appears at first sight to be a mixed ruling and will be subject to a de novo (from scratch) review by an appeals court is actually a declaration of a trade war. It would mean that foreign companies would either have to bow to Samsung and LG’s demands and, among other things, give up their own non-standard-essential intellectual property or stop selling in Korea.”
It may take bilateral US-Korea talks or the World Trade Organization to resolve.
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