Japan Court Rules Apple didn’t Infringe on Samsung Patents Again

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Samsung took it on the chin in its patent infringement fight against Apple in Japan. A court in the country ruled on Tuesday that the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2 aren't infringing on Samsung's data communications patents, which is matches with a similar ruling just over a year ago.

Apple scores another patent win against Samsung in JapanApple scores another patent win against Samsung in Japan

Samsung's response was predictable: "We are disappointed by the court’s decision. Upon a thorough review of the ruling, we will determine which measures to take, including an appeal."

The ruling came from Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hawegawa, according to Bloomberg.

In February 2013, the same court ruled that Samsung couldn't claim certain patents gave it control over data transmission technology, which ultimately killed the company's chances of winning an injunction blocking iPhone sales in the country.

Samsung hasn't fared well in its mobile device patent infringement fight with Apple around the world. While it has scored a few small victories, it hasn't managed to match Apple's ongoing winning streak, which includes a landslide ruling in U.S. District Court in 2012. In that case, the court ruled Samsung infringed on a long list of Apple patents, and ultimately awarded the iPhone maker over US$900 million in damages.

Today's win in Japan is yet another setback for Samsung and has to sting as it prepares for its second major U.S. patent infringement trial with Apple. The two are set to start their trial soon, and it looks like it won't be as complicated as originally thought. Samsung has agreed to drop several patents from its complaint, and Apple agreed to drop its counter complaints, which should help both sides stay within the time guidelines the Judge overseeing the case has imposed.

Like Apple and Samsung's other legal fights, this most recent loss in Japan doesn't signal the end for either company. Samsung will most likely appeal the ruling, just as it has done in other countries, and we'll be watching the ongoing fight between the two companies well into the future.

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Samsung's most recent loss in Japan is yet another feather in Apple's legal cap. Win after win can add turn into strong legal arguments for Apple, and the company already has a nicely stocked bag full of wins as it heads into its next U.S. infringement trial with Samsung.

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John Dingler, artist

Hi Jeff,
Good news for hard-working Apple and bad news for hard-copying Samsung. St. George is slaying the dragon little by little, steadily, inexorably.

Are Apple’s steady wins over the bad guy only coincidental with the chang-over of its top lawyers or might they be the result of better lawyering by the new lawyers?

Someone needs to do that story.


Good point. The old legal team let Apple do the non poaching agreement which a cheeseburger could see was going to get them in trouble. Sounds to me like the new team is better.

John Dingler, artist

Hi Geoduck,
Yes, that’s my sense of it too, but I don’t remember the exact sequence. FOSS Patents’s Florian Mueller would be a good candidate to write this article, but so would any of TMO’s tech authors. It would be a lot of work.

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