German Court Tosses Dueling Apple And Samsung Patent Cases
March 3, 2012

German Court Tosses Dueling Apple And Samsung Patent Cases

Jedidiah Becker for

In the escalating patent wars taking place throughout much of the tech industry, intellectual property rights have increasingly become tools of aggressive legal attacks against competitors rather than stimulators of innovation — the latter of which is, according to the U.S. Constitution, the sole legal justification for their existence.

One of the most high-profile of these battles for market dominance involves numerous suits launched by tech giants Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics against each other in Germany.

Last Friday, however, a regional German court summarily dismissed two of these cases. The decisions involved one of three claims that Samsung has pending against Apple as well as Apple´s claim that Samsung had infringed on its so-called slide-to-lock feature — a seemingly insignificant bit of technology that has nonetheless embroiled both companies in numerous lawsuits around the globe.

In January, German courts also ruled against Samsung in its two other patent suits.

Both companies still have numerous patent cases waiting for a judge´s pronouncement, the next of which is expected in two weeks.

Apple first sued Samsung for patent infringement last April, alleging that the company had “blatantly copied” its popular iPhone and iPad designs.

While a Samsung representative said the company was pleased with the judge´s dismissal of Apple´s suit, it was nonetheless disappointed that that its own 3G/UMTS-essential patent claim had been thrown out as well.

“We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany,” read the statement.

“We will continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple´s claims to ensure our continued ability to provide innovative mobile products to consumers.”

Samsung also said that it will appeal the decision to a higher court in Karlsruhe.

Apple has not yet issued a formal comment on the rulings.

Apple and Samsung are not the only two tech giants at each others´ throats in IP disputes. Earlier this week Apple won a case against Motorola and is still wrangling in court with Google over its free Android operating system.


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