Japan Court Rules Apple didn't Infringe on Samsung Patents

Samsung was handed two legal losses in Japan when a court ruled that Apple isn't infringing on two of its patents. The patents in question cover application downloads and using mobile devices in airplane mode.

Japan court says Apple isn't infringing on two Samsung patentsJapan court says Apple isn't infringing on two Samsung patents

The rulings happened over the last two months, although details have been slow to surface. The first patent ruling happened on September 14 when the Japanese court said that Apple isn't infringing on Samsung's app download patent. The second, covering airplane mode, was handed down on October 11.

The rulings are good news for Apple in its ongoing patent lawsuit battle with Samsung, and it adds to the headaches Galaxy smartphone and tablet maker has been facing.

Florian Mueller of Foss Patents commented,
Samsung's problem is not that there were two non-wins in Japan. Samsung's problem is that Apple has won a variety of rulings (even if none of them had or has the potential to force Samsung out of a major market) while Samsung hasn't won anything meaningful outside of Korea, and nothing anywhere in the world over a non-standard-essential patent.

Samsung's track record isn't, however, a complete loss in Japan. The Tokyo District Court ruled in August that Samsung isn't infringing on an Apple media sync patent, and the iPhone and iPad maker has already filed an appeal with the Intellectual High Property Court in Tokyo.

The recent wins for Apple underscore Samsung's ongoing uphill battle in the patent lawsuit game. "The total worldwide score clearly shows that Apple is on the winning track," Mr. Mueller said.

Apple's biggest win so far was in August when a Federal Jury in California ruled that it didn't infringe on Samsung's mobile patents while finding that Samsung willfully infringed on a long list of Apple patents. The Jury awarded Apple over US$1 billion in damages and opened the door for potential Samsung product bans in the U.S.

Samsung isn't, however, out of steam, but continuing losses won't help its case. "Samsung can afford many non-wins, but if pretty much all of its assertions outside of Korea are non-wins, it's going to lose the war," Mr. Mueller said.