In the ultimate fence-sitting move, a court in South Korea has ruled that Apple and Samsung copied each other's patents.

The punishment for all this sincere flattery seems harshest on the gadget fans of South Korea, given that it means a temporary sales ban on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, as well as the Galaxy S, S2, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung was cleared of any design imitations, but found guilty of infringing on Apple's patent relating to the little screen bounce you get when you scroll to the end of a page.

Apple's violations are more technical, based on Samsung-created telecom standards relating to data transmission.

Pay up

As a result, Apple comes out of the trial worse off, ordered to pay damages of 40m South Korean won (£22,000, $35,000) to Samsung. Samsung only has to pay Apple 25m won (£14,000, $22,000) in damages; so if Apple just pays Samsung 15m won, they can all call it quits.

It's not quite quitting time in the US though, where the hard-fought trial between the two companies is currently under jury's deliberation.

Over in the US, Apple is looking for $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) in damages from Samsung for its alleged copying; including what Apple reckons is some serious design homage.

We're not questioning the impartiality of the courts, but in South Korea Samsung had the home advantage – will Apple reap any benefits on its home turf in the US?

From BBC