Apple could face iPhone import ban in South Korea as a result of patent dispute

Recent iPhone and iPad models may soon be facing a ban in South Korea due to allegations of patent infringement. According to a report from BusinessKorea, the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, Energy is investigating claims that Apple infringed on a patent belonging a subsidiary company of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST). The investigation period has already been extended twice, and the report suggests that the Korea Trade Commission will most likely find in favour of KAIST, which would result in the import of Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and all current iPad and iPad Pro models from China and Hong Kong. The investigation centres on whether the FinFET patent is valid, and the commission is reportedly focusing on an ongoing case between Samsung Electronics and KAIST in the U.S. as part of its deliberations, where Samsung is attempting to persuade the U.S. courts to declare the FinFET patent invalid. Ironically, should Apple’s rival Samsung win its own case, the precedent of a U.S. court declaring the FinFET patent invalid would likely save Apple. “We cannot but pay attention to the litigation in the U.S. and South Korea involving Samsung Electronics although our current investigation is targeting Apple,” the ministry explained, adding, “This is because Samsung Electronics submitted evidence to refute the novelty of the patent, which is required for the patent to be regarded as being valid.” [via iPhone in Canada]

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