Samsung Electronics [official website; Bloomberg backgrounder] filed a patent suit on Tuesday in the Seoul Central District Court in South Korea alleging Apple [official website; Bloomberg backgrounder] infringed three of its utility patents. Samsung alleges that Apple's iPhone 4S and iPad 2 infringe patents it owns involving methods of displaying data, the user interface and text messaging. This latest filing brings the litigation between Samsung and Apple to a total of 30 cases in 10 different countries. The litigation battle between the companies began in April 2011 when Apple sued Samsung [JURIST report] alleging the company copied its designs for the original iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy S line of smartphones and tablet devices. That litigation remains ongoing, with a judge denying [JURIST report] Apple's request for a preliminary injunction in December.
As smartphones and tablets continue to increase in popularity, companies increasingly seek to protect the technology involved in their creation. In November, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] ruled [JURIST report] for Apple on a patent complaint [JURIST report] brought by HTC [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder]. The USITC found that Apple had not violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [PDF] by reasons of infringement of Patent Nos. 6,658,146, 6,683,978, 6,775,417 and 7,043,087 [texts]. These patents relate to HTC's recently acquired subsidiary S3 Graphics Co. The USITC ruling rejects the request to limit imports of MAC computers, the iPhone and the iPad. The decision also calls into question the rationale of the S3 acquisition [Bloomberg report] and could put pressure on HTC stock shares. HTC said it may challenge the ruling in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website], which specializes in patent law. This USITC ruling followed an earlier one in July which held that HTC infringed two Apple patents [JURIST report] relating to the Android operating system.