South Korea Court finds both Samsung and Apple guilty of infringement

This is pretty big: while the tech world awaits the verdict in the Apple vs. Samsung trial here in the US, a South Korea court has just ruled that both companies infringed on each other’s patents.

What does that mean in terms of consequences? Well, each side has been ordered to pay damages, and both have been hit with injunctions to ban the sales of their infringing products in the country….

The Wall Street Journal has the story:

“A three-judge panel in Seoul Central District Court said Apple infringed two Samsung technology patents, while Samsung violated one of Apple’s patents. The court awarded small damages to both companies and said they must halt sales of the infringing products in South Korea.”

The impact of the ruling will be fairly minimal. The damages amount to roughly $20,000 per infringed patent, which is couch cushion money for both tech giants, and the bans are on older products — Apple’s iPhone 4, iPad 2, and Samsung’s Galaxy S, S2, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

But it could have a significant effect on Apple’s current and future lawsuits. Along with the infringement rulings, the court also found that there was “no way” that consumers would ever confuse Samsung and Apple products, and that Samsung didn’t copy iOS icons.

The decision comes at an interesting time, as the jury is currently deliberating the high profile trial between the two companies here in the States. The case was handed over to the 9 Silicon Valley residents yesterday, and as of quitting time today, they had yet to reach a verdict. Needless to say, the outcome of this trial will have much larger consequences. Stay tuned.