South Korean Court Delays Apple-Samsung Verdict

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The final ruling in the patent battle between Apple and Samsung in a South Korean court was abruptly postponed just a day before the originally scheduled date of Aug. 10.

An official of the Seoul Central District Court said final review is taking longer than planned and the verdict has been rescheduled for Aug. 24, according to the local Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea is one of the first places that the Suwon-based company countersued Apple when the iPhone maker commenced its patent infringement battle against Samsung in California in April 2011.

That month, Samsung fired back in Seoul, Tokyo and Manheim, Germany, arguing Apple violated its patents related to data transmission technology.

In June 2011, Apple filed complaints in Seoul claiming 10 counts of patent violation involving designs and software features of the iPhone and iPad, such as the way users select, scroll and zoom in and out with the device.

The Korean court does not disclose any documents and transcripts laying out further details of both parties' claims.

Even though the stakes are not high in Korea, the symbolic meaning of the verdict could have an influence in other ongoing cases in the U.S., Australia and Europe, analysts said.

Unlike in the U.S. where Apple is claiming US$2.5 billion in damages from Samsung, the two industry leaders are seeking only 100 million won or about $90,000 in Korea. They have not asked for injunctions on each other's devices in the local market.

"Obviously the U.S. verdict will be the most important since it has the biggest market," said Sun Tae Lee, an analyst with NH Investment & Securities.

Although it's hard to predict what the ruling will be and how the companies will respond, consumers in Korea are unlikely to find any disruptions in the market, Lee said.

Samsung plans to release its Galaxy Note 2 on Aug. 29 and Apple is expected to introduce its new iPhone 5 later in the fall.

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