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Samsung Dealt New Blow in Apple Patent Fight

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 7:10am
Maisie Ramsay

Fresh on the heels of Samsung's defeat in a German court last week, a Mannheim judge has reportedly tossed out the electronics giant's second complaint against Apple.

Patent expert Florian Mueller, who attended the hearing, said the judge did not specify why he was rejecting Samsung's claim that Apple had violated its patents on 3G/UMTS technology. The same judge ruled against Samsung last week in a similar suit.

Samsung and Apple have filed multiple complaints against each other in a number of international courts and are still awaiting rulings in Germany and other countries including the United States, Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and Australia. 

Apple has so far had more success than Samsung in Germany. In August, a German court sided with Apple and granted a preliminary injunction against the sale of some Samsung devices in several European Union countries. The ban was eventually cut back and only went into effect in Germany. Apple also won a preliminary injunction in the Netherlands against the Samsung Galaxy S, S II and Ace, but lost later rulings in the case.

The fight between the two companies kicked off last April when Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" its popular iPhone and iPad devices, but so far neither corporation have emerged as clear victors in the multinational intellectual property battle.

Since both have enough cash on hand to fund an interminable legal war, it's not clear whether either will be able to force the other side into a licensing deal, the usual outcome of patent suits.

Samsung and other manufacturers of Android smartphones and tablets have been the target of a number of patent infringement complaints. The platform's weak intellectual property holdings prompted Google to pay $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility in an effort to bolster Android's legal armor. The transaction is still waiting clearance from domestic and international regulators.

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