Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea's electronics giant, has been ordered to compensate a local designer for illegally using the designer's flower pattern creation on its refrigerator models, court records showed Saturday.
The Seoul Western District Court recently delivered the order for the electronics maker to pay 30 million won (US$27,200) in compensation to Lee Jong-gil, a graduate student at Hongik University, for infringing Lee's copyright.
The 31-year-old student designer signed in 2009 a deal to create flower patterns to be used for Samsung's Zipel refrigerator line.
Lee's patterns were later adopted by the electronics firm when it released a new refrigerator line for preservation of Kimchi, Korea's traditional fermented pickle, last year.
In its promotion of the new product, the company introduced Lee's flower patterns as a creation of overseas professional designer Karen Little, leading the student to file suit against the electronics maker.
The court said Samsung violated Lee's rights to have his name labeled for his design production.
"The defendant did not mark the plaintiff's name and actively promoted (the refrigerator line) as the production of a famous designer, gravely damaging Lee's pride as a designer," the court noted.