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Court rules Samsung didn't violate Apple design

The South Korean ruling comes as the two technology titans are locked in a high-stakes global patent battle.

Samsung tablet. Picture: Clare Matthes/EWN

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co's flagship Galaxy smartphone looks very similar to Apple's iPhone, but the South Korean firm has not violated the iPhone design, a Seoul court ruled on Friday.

The South Korean ruling comes as the two technology titans are locked in a high-stakes global patent battle that mirrors a fierce rivalry for industry supremacy between two companies that control more than half the world's smartphone sales.

The Seoul court ruling on Friday comes ahead of more crucial US verdicts. Nine jurors began deliberation on Wednesday in California in one of many disputes between the two firms around the world that analysts see as partly aimed at curbing the spread of Google Inc's Android, the world's most used mobile software.

"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 touch-screen 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 judge said.


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