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Samsung refutes Apple's patent infringement claims

All Headlines 16:51 August 12, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. refuted rival electronics maker Apple Inc.'s accusations that the South Korean tech giant copied its iconic iPhone handset in a pre-trial hearing on Friday.

The U.S.-based electronics maker filed a lawsuit with a Seoul court against Samsung in June to block the company from selling the Galaxy line of touch-screen smartphones and tablet PCs, which Apple said copied its best-selling iPhone 3 model.

In the hearing held at the Seoul Central District Court, Samsung Electronics dismissed the originality of the iPhone's design and operating functions.

It also said the technologies Apple claims under its patent rights in fact incorporate contributions by several IT companies.

"The technology sector, which Apple said belongs to its patented rights, actually belongs to a number of intermediary entities who contributed to the development," Samsung's legal representative said in reference to similar technologies that both firms utilized to operate their touch-screen gadgets.

"Apple's argument that its products represent originality and advancement has a fundamental deficiency," the Samsung representative said, suggesting that Apple's patented technologies are the result of collaboration among various developers in the touch-screen and electronics sectors.

"Apple is leading the suit unreasonably in how it has tried to privatize the public domain and exaggerated its rights," the Samsung representative said.

The local firm's defense came as Apple reiterated on Friday its claims raised in its June court complaint that Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab tablet PC look very similar to its iPhone in design and user interface.

"There is a high possibility that (consumers) could get confused by the two firms' products as the imitation of on-screen icons, appearance and packaging was explicit and comprehensive," said an Apple representative.

He reiterated Apple's previous request that the court order Samsung Electronics to stop producing and selling the Galaxy series.

Their first official court hearing is set for Sept. 23.

Apple's legal action in June came as competition escalated between the two companies for bigger shares of the increasingly popular smartphone market. Apple had filed similar lawsuits against Samsung in the United States in April.

Samsung Electronics had countered by filing similar lawsuits against Apple in the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Germany, arguing that the U.S. firm copied 10 of its patents to make the iPhone.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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