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Samsung files new South Korean lawsuit against Apple

Alleges iPhone 4S and iPad 2 infringe three patents

Samsung has filed a new lawsuit against Apple in its native South Korea, alleging infringement of three patents.

Reuters reports that Samsung filed the suit yesterday in a court in Seoul in the latest move in the ongoing legal battles between the two companies.

In the new lawsuit, Samsung contends that Apple has infringed on three utility patents that involve methods of displaying data, the user interface and text messages in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

There are now more than 30 cases involving the two companies in 10 countries around the world. Last week, a judge in Germany dealt both Samsung and Apple a blow by dismissing claims made by each company against the other.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has offered a deal to both Samsung and Motorola to settle some pending lawsuits that it has brought against its two rivals in return for royalty payments as an alternative to seeking injunctions which could block sales of Samsung and Motorola devices.

Patent expert Florian Mueller, writing on the Foss Patents blog, pointed out that while Apple appeared to have softened its stance since the late Steve Jobs told Google's then CEO Eric Schmidt that he wasn't interested in licencing Apple's ideas for use in Android, there was nothing inconsistent about Apple's approach.

"Assuming it's true that Jobs told Schmidt he wasn't interested in license fees but wanted Google to stop using Apple's ideas in Android, a total refusal to discuss licensing at all is always easier said than done and rarely meant literally," he wrote.

Besides, if Apple won all of its Android-related legal battles it would be in a position where it would have to licence many of its patents in order to satisfy industry regulators.

"Should it turn out that Apple actually can enforce some very broad patents without which no one else could offer multitouch devices, Apple would ultimately have to grant licenses to those basic patents in order to steer clear of antitrust trouble," Mueller said.

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