French court denies Samsung's bid for iPhone 4S sales ban

Summary:Samsung's bid to halt the sales of Apple's iPhone 4S in France has failed. One case down, another case in Italy to go, as the global, on-going patent dispute spreads.

A French court has rejected Samsung's bid to ban the sale of Apple's latest smartphone in the country.

The hearing at the Tribunal de Grande Instance, Paris followed a November 17th hearing, that signalled the Korean smartphone giant would lose its bid to seek a preliminary sales injunction on the device.

Benjamin Ferran with French newspaper Le Figaro tweeted the result of the case this morning.

"L'iPhone 4S n'est pas interdit en France. Samsung débouté", translates to: "The Phone 4S will not be barred in France. Samsung's [legal case] dismissed".

Samsung had claimed that Apple had "flagrantly violated our intellectual property", adding that it will not let the company "free-ride on our technology", the company said in a statement last month.

The Korean company was ordered to reimburse Apple's legal fees of around €100,000 ($134,000). As patent expert Florian Mueller notes, this is likely only a fraction of what Apple spent on its defence in this case.

At the same time as seeking an iPhone 4S sales ban in France, Samsung also sought action from Italy.

A court in Milan is set to hold a second hearing on December 16th to determine whether a similar injunction should be imposed in Italy.

Mueller notes that should the Italian sales injunction bid fail, "the time may come for both Apple and Samsung to realize that you can't win a marathon with a sprint".

The move to ban the iPhone 4S in France and Italy followed after months of conflict between the two smartphone giants, after Apple instigated legal action against Samsung in April.

Since then, the patent spat has spread to over 30 cases in 10 jurisdictions.

Last Friday, Apple's effort to seek a U.S.-wide sales ban against four Samsung products was rejected.

Though the U.S. District Court judge sided with Samsung, it was warned that Apple still may prevail if the case comes to court, and that the company would likely prove that Samsung had infringed Apple-owned patents.

Related:

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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