Samsung wins round in Apple patent battle | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.02.2012
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Samsung wins round in Apple patent battle

A court in Munich has rejected a request by the computer maker Apple to impose a ban on sales of Samsung's latest tablets and smartphones.

Samsung and Apple tablet PC side by side

Samsung and Apple continue to lock horns over design patents

A regional court in Munich has quashed an attempt by the US computer manufacturer Apple to stop Samsung of South Korea from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet PC and its Nexus smartphones.

The 10.1N model was specially designed for the German market after courts banned local distribution of its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, on the grounds that it was too similar in design to Apple's iPad.

In the current case, market leader Apple had claimed Samsung infringed its patent rights related to the display of information on touchscreens. But the court disagreed, arguing that the technology had been widely used in the mobile market.

The two bitter rivals have been locked in a series of lawsuits in Germany and elsewhere. Only last week, a regional court in Mannheim ruled against Samsung, saying Apple had not violated one of Samsung's mobile technology patents.

At loggerheads forever?

Apple started what was to become a spate of mutual incriminations in April last year when it accused Samsung of copying its iPad design. The South Korean company for its part has focused its own lawsuits on technology patent infringements rather than design issues.

Close-up of Apple iPhone

The smartphone market remains a fierce battle ground for competitors

Despite Samsung's legal victory in Munich, the firm is far from being cleared across the board. Another chapter in the company's tug-of-war with Apple is due to be written next week when a regional court in Düsseldorf, Germany, will also rule on a request by Apple to ban its rival from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

In addition, European regulators earlier this week opened an antitrust probe against Samsung to determine whether the company has distorted competition in European mobile device markets by putting obstacles in the way of companies wishing to use its patents.

Author: Hardy Graupner (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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