Samsung Loses Patent Complaint; Apple Complies With Italian Court Ruling

Apple’s ongoing legal matters continued on Friday with a pair of events: a German court struck down Samsung’s second patent complaint against Apple, and Apple has placed a “Communication to protect consumers” notice on its online Italian store in compliance with a court ruling that said the company was pushing AppleCare while neglecting to tell buyers about the two-year warranty that’s legally mandatory in Italy. Apple was fined 1.2 million euros as part of the court ruling in Italy.

Florian Mueller, who runs the blog FOSS Patents, attended the German court ruling against Samsung. He wrote: “Judge Andreas Voss did not state any particular reasons for the decision … Different reasons are conceivable. The outcome of Samsung’s first two German actions against Apple may be based on reasons specific to the validity and/or infringement of those patents, in which case Samsung could still prevail over any or all of three other 3G/UMTS patents it is asserting against Apple in Mannheim. Samsung is furthermore suing Apple over two non-standards-related patents, including a patent on a method to enter smileys on a mobile device.”

He went on to say that he expects Samsung and Apple to continue with their respective lawsuits against each other. “Since both companies are doing very well (with Apple being not just highly but even unbelievably profitable), they can afford to keep going, and at this point neither litigant has the leverage to force its rival into a settlement,” he said.

In the online Italian Apple store, the “Comunicazione a tutela dei consumatori” link opens a PDF that explains the two-year warranty legally mandated in that country. The Register received a confirmation from Apple that it is still appealing the initial ruling against it, so the company hasn’t yet paid the 1.2 million euro fine levied against it.

The notice that now appears at the online Apple Store in Italy

Register reporter Bill Ray observed: “When the ruling was published we said it seemed unlikely Apple would be unaware of local laws, and given that retail operation Comet managed to modify its similar practices to avoid a fine we were surprised to hear that Apple was being hit so hard.”