Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung, with some purposeful timing right before the iPad HD launch event today, announced it has filed another lawsuit against Apple in a South Korean court over the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

The Korean company filed suit against Apple on Tuesday, saying that the Apple devices above infringed on three of its patents. Reuters reports that the suit “covers three utility patents and involves methods of displaying data, the user interface, and short text messages.”

Apple first sued Samsung last year over “slavishly” copying the iPhone and iPad’s design in the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S Android devices. Samsung called foul, and since then the two companies have been engaged in a seemingly endless legal back-and-forth that has spanned over 30 cases in 10 countries, including Australia and Germany.

Samsung certainly knew what it was doing by filing its latest lawsuit against Apple yesterday, but the move was likely a symbolic gesture, as Samsung hasn’t had the best track record in its litigation against Apple. All of Samsung’s adjudicated claims against Apple were dismissed, FOSS Patents points out, and it hasn’t been able to fight off all of Apple’s claims against it.

Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller notes that Samsung desperately needs to win some of its cases, otherwise its patent portfolio will seem weakened. Mueller also points out that it would be suspect if Samsung ends up winning this latest claim in its home country:

It would certainly be odd if Samsung lost all (or almost all) of its lawsuits in the other eight jurisdictions in which it is suing Apple (United States, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Australia) but then succeeded big-time in its own country. I heard that Samsung accounts for approximately 20 percent of South Korean GDP. Based on its revenues, I think the figure would be closer to 10 percent, but the 20 percent figure might include some indirect effects. Whether the right number is 10 percent or 20 percent, if a single company group is so pervasive in a given country, I wonder if it’s even possible to find a single judge who doesn’t have family members who work for such a company or other indirect relationships.