Samsung heir to attend Steve Jobs memorial service

SEOUL, October 16, 2011 (AFP) -- The heir apparent of South Korea's Samsung Group will attend a memorial service for late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs despite an ongoing legal battle with the US technology giant, a source said on Sunday.

Jay Y. Lee, the only son of chairman Lee Kun-Hee and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics, will attend the service to be held in California on Sunday at the invitation of Apple CEO Tim Cook, an industry source who declined to be named told AFP.

"Samsung, despite the legal rows, has maintained close ties with Apple as a major component supplier of panels and chips," said the source, adding the younger Lee was close to Jobs and Cook.

A Samsung Electronics spokesman declined to comment, saying the visit was a private matter.

Samsung, the world's second-largest maker of mobile phones, and Apple are at loggerheads in a series of patent lawsuits over the technology and design of smartphones and tablet computers.

But the South Korean firm last week delayed the launch of a new smartphone based on Google's latest Android operating system as a gesture of respect for the legendary figure who died on October 5 from cancer.

The legal disputes began in April in the United States when Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying its market-leading iPhone and iPad.

Apple has since sought a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab in Germany, Australia and other countries, prompting Samsung to file counter-suits.

In the latest ruling on the global legal battle, a Dutch court on Friday rejected a bid by Samsung to ban sales of Apple's 3G phones and tablet devices there due to alleged patent infringement on wireless technologies.