German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

Summary: Apple sues, Samsung countersues. But Samsung lost its latest case against Apple which sought to prove that the Cupertino-based giant infringed its patents.

TOPICS: Apple, Legal, Samsung

A German court has ruled that Apple has not infringed Samsung's patents, but has not said why.

Samsung, which passed Apple as the world's largest smartphone maker in the third quarter, has not said whether it will appeal the ruling.

"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 written statement.

The ruling covers one patent that relates to the 3G/UMTS wireless communication standard. The court has not yet ruled on two other patents in the same case, one of which includes a smiley face emoticon.

Samsung also has four other lawsuits ongoing against Apple in Germany that relate to six patents.

According to FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller, he would be surprised if the ruling "turned out to be based on FRAND issues", which allow for the fair licensing of patents for interoperability across mobile devices and networks.

He believes that either the case fell due to "patent exhaustion", or what appears more likely, is that Apple was simply not seen to infringe the patents. If patent exhaustion were the reason, it would see Samsung's case against Apple collapse. Yet, Samsung could still prevail if Samsung's "other assertions of [patents] in Germany could still succeed".

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.

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.

The patent war between the two companies has spread to over 30 cases in 10 jurisdictions, including Australia, Europe, and the United States.

According to Reuters, Samsung has spent in the region of $60 million in Apple-related legal costs since April.


Topics: Apple, Legal, Samsung

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

    Why is it every time you guys write on of these articles you quote Florian Muller? Isn't there someone else - ANYONE else?

    Quite frankly I'm sick of all the lawsuits from both sides. It's a global pissing match where the real winners are the lawyers and the real losers are the consumers.
    • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

      @Pete "athynz" Athens
      I agree. That dude is a stooge for the axis of evil software.
      Only or are fair and balanced.
      The Linux Geek
      • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

        @The Linux Geek <br> ???<br><br>I hope you're joking. That Roy guy in is as fair and balanced as FoxNew when it comes to legal subject matter. He used numerious sockpuppets to troll slashdot to push his propaganda it wasn't even funny.
      • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

        @The Linux Geek You agree with me almost makes me feel dirty or like I've gone to the dark side of the force.

        Groklaw and techrights are not balanced either - they are weighted towards what YOU believe.
    • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

      @Pete "athynz" Athens
      And all had the great predictions this site was able to make thanks to the visionary views of Mr. Muller? Some examples:
      UPDATE - Florian Mueller: Copyright-infringing material in Android codebase January 21, 2011, 9:38am PST
      Latest filings in Oracle patent case spell trouble for Google September 7, 2011, 6:54pm PD
      Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP? July 20, 2011, 2:20pm PDT
      Google-Oracle settlement likely with top execs called to court September 2, 2011, 2:42pm PDT
      Have many Android vendors lost their rights to distribute Linux? August 15, 2011, 5:09am PDT
      U.S. judge scolds Oracle and Google at Android IP hearing July 21, 2011, 4:00pm PDT
      Google's Android IP headache may become a migraine July 5, 2011, 2:30am PDT
      Android OS bombshell: Did Google illegally lift copyrighted code? January 21, 2011, 10:04am PST
      Oracle gets its trial date with Google this Halloween July 22, 2011, 4:50pm PD
      First legal shots fired at Google's VP8 codec February 11, 2011, 9:40am PST
      Oracle wants big cut of Android damages as Google's IP headache gets worse June 8, 2011, 4:40am PD
  • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

    Samsung should drop all hemorrhoid phones, and go all in on the best phone OS ever WP 7! Then Samsung could sue Crapple for copying the designs of Samsung phones, and tablets, anf halt the sales of Crapple's iJunk!
    • RE: German court rules against Samsung in Apple patent suit

      @Stephen-B And you should power down your PC, shut down your smartphone, and go live in a log cabin as far away from anyone else as you possibly can to avoid spreading this blatant stupidity of yours.
  • Only $60 milion!

    Probably the cheapest advertising Samsung could get, and all because of Apple.