German Court Shoots Down Samsung Patent in Fight with Apple

A German court rejected one of Samsung’s patent infringement claims against Apple on Friday. The patent in question related to 3G/UTMS wireless technology, although the Judge overseeing the lawsuit didn’t say why he ruled against Samsung.

German court throws out Samsung patent infringement caseGerman court throws out Samsung patent infringement case

“While a number of legal grounds are theoretically possible, doubts about the validity of the asserted patent would have resulted in a stay, not a rejection, due to Germany’s bifurcated system under which validity issues are addressed in different fora than infringement lawsuits,” said Florian Mueller of Foss Patents. “There are two reasonably likely possibilities: either Apple’s products weren’t deemed to infringe on the patent in a technical sense or the court believes Samsung’s rights are exhausted and Apple has, by extension, a license.”

The ruling is a setback for Samsung, but isn’t the end of the line. The electronics maker still has three more lawsuits against Apple in Germany covering six more patents.

Assuming the 3G/UTMS case was tossed out because of exhaustion, however, there’s a good chance the remaining three lawsuits are facing the same fate.

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over patent infringement claims for several months. Both companies have alleged that the other’s mobile devices use patented technologies without proper licensing, and have filed lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and other countries.

Apple managed to win an import ban in the country for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in December, but Samsung may have found a way to work around the block with its slightly modified Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Apple, however, isn’t satisfied with the changes and is hoping to block the revised model — a move that will likely fail, according to the judge overseeing the case.

Apple filed yet another lawsuit against Samsung this month that claims the Galaxy smartphones and tablets blatantly copy the iPhone and iPad designs.

Apple has not commented on this latest ruling, although Samsung stated, “We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany.”