January 22, 2012
German Court Rules Against Samsung In Patent Case
A German court ruled in favor of Apple and against Samsung in the first of the latter's seven patent infringement claims against the former, various media outlets reported on Friday.
The decision was handed down by Mannheim Regional Court judge Andreas Voss, and while Forbes.com Contributor Nigam Arora said that the judge's complete written ruling was not available as of Friday evening, the patent involved "is believed to be EP 1,005,726."
"This patent claim is not likely to have any immediate impact on either company," Arora added.
According to Miyoung Kim of Reuters, Samsung, which moved past Apple during the third-quarter of last year to become the global leader among smartphone manufactures, is currently involved in legal battles with the Cupertino, California-based iPhone and iPod maker in 10 different countries.
In addition to the seven patent claims filed by Samsung in Germany, Apple has accused the Korean electronics company of violating six of their own patents.
Samsung told Kim that the ruling covered only one of three mobile technologies they claim Apple infringed upon, with rulings on the other two expected to come on January 27 and March 2, respectively.
"We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany," Samsung said in a statement, according to Reuters. As of Friday morning, the company had not yet decided whether or not to appear the ruling to the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe.
"That triumph was tempered by a setback the previous day in Paris where another court rejected its bid to block sales of Apple's iPhone 4S in France," Kim wrote on Friday. "The quarrel has triggered expectations that some of the pair's $5 billion-plus relationship may be up for grabs. Samsung counts Apple as its biggest customer and makes parts central to Apple's mobile devices including processing chips."
According to Reuters, a Samsung executive claims that the company has spent approximately $60 million in their legal battles with Apple.
Furthermore, Apple has also been challenging other Android-based smartphone manufacturers in court, with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) issuing a preliminary ruling earlier this month that their patents had not been violated by Motorola Mobility.
"Apple first sued Samsung in April last year, claiming that its Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets 'slavishly' infringed a number of design patents relating to the iPhone and iPad," ZDNet reporter Zack Whittaker said on Friday. "Samsung countersued, claiming that Apple had infringed a number of its mobile technologies."
"The Korean smartphone maker won a round against Apple in December, after an Australian court lifted a sales injunction on the sale of its Galaxy tablet in perfect timing for the Christmas shopping season," he added. "The patent war between the two companies has spread to over 30 cases in 10 jurisdictions, including Australia, Europe, and the United States."
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