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Apple fails to convince Japanese court of Samsung patent infringement

Sales ban goes out the window in Japan
Fri Aug 31 2012, 14:27
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PATENT DEFENDER Apple has lost a lawsuit against Samsung in Japan after a judge ruled that Samsung did not infringe patents for synchronising music and video with servers.

Apple's worldwide patent battle with Samsung reached a milestone last week when the firm scored a jury verdict for $1bn in damages against Samsung in the US and is now seeking to ban the sale of eight devices there. Elsewhere however, Apple's legal battles are not going to plan, as the firm lost its case against Samsung in Japan.

Samsung was alleged to have infringed Apple's patents pertaining to the synchronisation of music and video files with servers, which very much sounds like yet another example of the absurdity of software patents. Apple claimed Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Tab infringed its patents and sought $1.3m in damages, with the real kicker being a ban on sales.

Tokyo District Court Judge Tamotsu Shoji not only found that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents, he ordered Apple to pay costs and ruled against a sales injunction request made by Apple to stop sales of Samsung devices in Japan. Judge Shoji said, "It's hard to believe the products belong to the range of technologies of the claimant [Apple]."

While Samsung has won this particular round of its battle with Apple, it is the US market where both firms want to sell devices, and despite Samsung welcoming the Japanese verdict, what it wants most is to overturn the recent jury verdict and its $1bn damage award and potential injunctions in the US courts. µ


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