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The ruling comes only days after Apple filed another lawsuit to ban the Galaxy S II smartphone in Germany

A judge from the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany ruled that Samsung's claim regarding Apple's 3G/UMTS wireless communication patent violation is not valid.

Apple and Samsung's patent war began back in April 2011 when Apple claimed Samsung was an "iPhone, iPad copycat." More specifically, Apple said the Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G and Nexus smartphones infringed on Apple patents.

Apple worked its fingers to the bone to ban Samsung's smartphones and tablets around the world, and successfully did so in countries like Australia and Germany. However, Samsung began launching a few patent suits of its own to retaliate and keep its property safe from Apple's harm. Samsung was able to lift the ban on its popular Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in December 2011.

The two tech giants flung lawsuits back and forth through much of 2011, and it doesn't look like 2012 will be much different. Today, Judge Andreas Voss of the Mannheim Regional Court ruled that Samsung's claim against Apple, which is one of three pertaining to the 3G/UMTS wireless communication patent violation complaints in Germany, is invalid. Judge Voss did not mention why the claim was void. According to Florian Mueller, independent patent expert, two possible reasons could be that Apple's products didn't infringe on the patent in a technical sense or that the court believes Samsung's rights are "exhausted," while Apple has a technical license by extension.

"We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany," said Samsung.

The other two patent infringement claims against Apple regarding 3G/UMTS wireless communication will be determined on January 27 and March 2.

"This ruling related to only one of 13 patents that are currently in suit between those parties in Germany, and dozens of patents on a worldwide basis," said Mueller. "It's not the first rejection of a complaint involving these two players, and barring a major surprise, it won't be the last."

However, Samsung's technology isn't the only one at stake with these Apple-related patent wars. Android, which is Google's mobile operating system that runs on Samsung's mobile hardware, could stand to lose too. Just last month, the United States International Trade Commission ruled that some smartphone features are protected by Apple, such as the ability to tap a phone number within a text or email and call that person directly, and the ability to schedule a calendar appointment with the tap of a finger on a date in an email. These features, which are common throughout most smartphones now, could really hurt Android if Apple succeeds. However, most of these features require trivial changes that can work around Apple's constant griping.

The latest patent ruling comes only days after Apple filed its most recent lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, asking that the court ban Samsung's Galaxy S ll smartphone as well as nine other smartphones and five tablets.

Source: Reuters

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Here we go again..
By masamasa on 1/20/2012 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 5
We all know how much Apple stinks. It's not their products, it's how they run their company. Look at their new book publishing services they just launched that forces the author to only sell their works through Apple. Apple is one crooked company that might as well be founded on communism run under one very corrupt government. Inevitably their reputation will come back to haunt them and that's one thing that's very hard to re-establish once trust has been lost by the consumer. It's only a matter of time.

RE: Here we go again..
By messele on 1/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Here we go again..
By killerroach on 1/20/2012 12:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
Apple actually spends very little on R&D compared to many of their competitors, including Samsung.

Unless you consider industrial design an "invention" (I don't, and typically patent law hasn't either), most of Apple's "inventions" are either vague, obvious, or adding "on a mobile device" to an already existing computer function.

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/20/2012 2:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's R&D budget is not that far different than Samsung's, when size is accounted for. Moreover, when you ask other business people Apple constantly ranks as one of the most innovative companies in the world.

RE: Here we go again..
By Tanclearas on 1/20/2012 7:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
"Moreover, when you ask other business people Apple constantly ranks as one of the most innovative companies in the world."

Business people? That's like asking a kid if he likes cookies. It's irrelevant that the cookie has no nutritional value. The kid is going to say "Hell yeah!"

Business people shouldn't even be given a choice to decide if something is innovative.

RE: Here we go again..
By silvaensis on 1/21/2012 5:47:40 AM , Rating: 3
While I do think that apple is very innovative and they do make great products and sadly are 5 years ahead of anyone else in seeing the trend of where software is going most of these patents should never have been issued.

For one The patent about clicking a date in an email and adding it to a calendar has been around for a very very long time way before ios was even conceived and this patent should never hold up. Hell, my old windows 3.1 PDA had this ability with an application I had.

The other patent should be listed as obvious and never been granted in the first place due to similar preexisting things such as clicking an e-mail address in any web browser and it opening your e-mail program, and many browsers have parsed e-mail addresses and opened a program without a mailto link way before we had touchscreen phones
I actually think it was possible to highlight a number and call it with the older smartphones. You just had to use the stupid pen and highlight it and hold it down on it and not just touch it.

The fact that they literally got patents on preexisting ideas by just using the touch semantic instead of click. This is just insane as when your programming its actually the exact same thing(ontouch event and onclick event are the exact same thing) and should be treated as such for touchscreen devices with the finger as a pointing device. Most of the time for me programming for touch is almost no different than programming for a mouse unless I am doing something with multitouch and even then its usually just a replacement for right click.

RE: Here we go again..
By silvaensis on 1/21/2012 6:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Addendum: This is the reason that Apple will never go after microsoft on any of these patents. Microsoft could pretty much kill any patent that parsed anything in an e-mail or message and created a link or manipulated it from just prior examples in works/office alone not to mention all the touch patents they could kill from their early windows PDAs.

A good lawyer could probably kill a ton of multitouch patents just from gathering up some old digitizers(wacoms and the like) and software from them, I know a few of the odd ones had gestures and supported multitouch.

The problem is there is such a need for patent reform, they need to have a better system in place with stricter rules and a shorter duration for Technology patents(5-7 years max probably 2 or 3 on many things).

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/21/2012 4:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, who should then? If you were to survey consumers they would probably rank Apple pretty high. Or maybe you're the only one to get a vote.

RE: Here we go again..
By sigmatau on 1/20/2012 8:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
And your link proves...... nothing. Wrong article or is your R&D like Apple's?

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/21/2012 4:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
I was seeking to proof nothing. I was noting that Apple is considered the most innovative company by other business people. You might not agree with such a ranking, which is certainly your right, but it is a simple fact that Apple consistently ranks among the most innovative companies in every survey taken.

From the linked article
The U.S., of course, still has its innovators. Apple (AAPL) remains No. 1, followed by perennial first runner-up Google (GOOG).

You're right, that does not proof anything. It is however pretty significant evidence that the business community sees Apple as highly innovative.

RE: Here we go again..
By Gondor on 1/21/2012 12:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
Really ? Their CEO has been boasting about his company stealiing ideas from others before he perished. Why do that if they are so incredibly innovative ?

RE: Here we go again..
By messele on 1/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Here we go again..
By nolisi on 1/20/2012 1:21:05 PM , Rating: 3
perish the thought that you might invest a lot of time and money in an idea that moves things forward then actually expect to make some money back

What makes you think that Google didn't invest a lot of time and money in their ideas? Do you think they just lifted code from iOS? Clicking a link (which the OS/Application identifies) from one program (say outlook) and opening it in another (say internet explorer) has been around a long time. Or perhaps click on a file (say a document) from a file explorer application and have it open in an editor.

How do application pointers constitute anything that Apple should be able to protect?

RE: Here we go again..
By Solandri on 1/20/2012 2:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody who doesn't like it should start their own business, say a retail store, and then invite every hobo to set up a stall outside selling knocked-off crap at half the price.

That is, in fact, exactly what happens. There is little to no protection against knock-offs. That's why you can sell and buy fake Gucci handbags (with the logo slightly reversed). As long as they're not trying to pass themselves off as being Gucci, you're allowed to duplicate the appearance.

The only things that are protected are trademarks (the Gucci or iPad name), non-obvious inventions, unique works (pictures, stories, etc. under copyright), and ornamental (non-functional) designs (coca cola bottle shape). Mere appearances are not protected, at least not in the U.S.

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/20/2012 2:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
That is not quite true. Look and feel is protected in the US under the Lanham Act. It is called trade dress. Now, as a practical matter it is not highly enforced but there are quite the number of cases where the sale of Gucci and other high value brand knockoffs are prosecuted, even though tag on the item does not say Gucci.

RE: Here we go again..
By sigmatau on 1/20/2012 8:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
So an iphone is a hand bag?

Apple is on target for getting sued for the largest dollar amount in Europe and probably the US for its abuse of the patent system. I hope they enjoy the "look and feel" of that multi-billion dollar fine.

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/21/2012 10:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
No, an iPhone is not a handbag. Did I ever argue it was? I simply pointed out that there are situations where look and feel are protected by law in the US. The post I replied to stated flatly that was not the case.

Apple is on target for getting sued for the largest dollar amount in Europe and probably the US for its abuse of the patent system. I hope they enjoy the "look and feel" of that multi-billion dollar fine.

Care to provide a source for that?

RE: Here we go again..
By silvaensis on 1/21/2012 6:24:12 AM , Rating: 2
Trade dress only applys when something has a very unique look, the fact of the matter is that the general shape and solid black color has been around in phones for a long time as well as the shiny finish. Trade dress mainly refers to something stylized so that it looks to be something it is not.
Now if Samsung had had a big logo on the back in a similar location it would violate trade dress big time. Trade dress is when you intentionally try to make your product look like a competitors to make them confuse the phones.
It would never hold up because they use vastly different logos and operating systems which are easy to tell the difference in and the general shape, placement of buttons on the bottom front, headphones jack and the like is considered functional and not subject to trade dress i.e. easiest place to access them for the use.

From the distance they say you can't tell the phones apart there are 50 other phones you could not tell apart as well. Standing 5 feet away though it would be obvious at the differences in the phones especially if you see the back of the phone.

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/21/2012 11:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
No where did I argue that the iPhone look was protected, so I am not sure what your point is. My reply was specific to the post before mine which used handbags as an example.

Trade dress mainly refers to something stylized so that it looks to be something it is not.

No, that is not remotely true. To go back to the original post, there have been successful handbag trade dress suits. And those handbags certainly looked like handbags. Moving out of the fashion accessory realm, things such as the iconic Coca-Cola bottle or a Rolls grill have been successfully defended in trade dress actions. A rather interesting trade dress suit was Coca-Cola's suit against Pepsi over the Trop50 containers where Coke claimed Pepsi was infringing on the look of the Simply Orange container. While it was settled out of court and the terms remain confidential it is interesting to note that the Trop50 containers no longer have green plastic tops but not use purple ones.

RE: Here we go again..
By Tony Swash on 1/20/2012 3:23:45 PM , Rating: 1
What over excited paranoid hysteria. Sorry to be harsh but you deployed a silly amount of hyperbole.

Is the way the iBooks authoring system work that different to what we have seen before?

It seems to me a fairly common model which has not generated any sort of complaints before. Unreal for example gives away their Unreal Engine and tools for free. Make all the games you want, give your games away for free, but if you sell your games, Unreal wants a cut because you are benefitting from their technology. The iBook Author system is the same sort of deal.

Apple doesn't claim ownership of your content. You can still distribute your content on other stores if you use other tools. But if you use iBooks Author, you must distribute through the iBooks store if you want to make money off of it, you can also distribute iBook Author produced books outside of the iTunes store, via downloads from a web site for example or via email, whatever, as long as they are free.

This looks like it has the potential to transform a big chunk of the tools available to educators and student for the better. That is a good thing. Nobody else has tried this total approach before and nobody other than Apple probably could.

Have a play with the free content creation software iBook Author. Its fantastic. The great thing is you can not only create a book for distribution on iTunes but you can also distribute them any way you choose (as long as it's for free and not via another rival store).

I may make books just to give to friends and family. Imagine what you could do with your photos or movies, or family histories with this sort of stuff. Imagine if you put on a play or cultural event and creating a beautiful electronic event program available in iTunes or by download. Imagine making a book for someone getting married or graduating or retiring. Really this is an exciting new way to make ebooks.

Sure it encourages people to buy iPads - so what? Why else would any company do anything except because it supports their business model.

RE: Here we go again..
By Fritzr on 1/21/2012 12:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
You completely missed the point while saying that you agree with the comment on iBooks right at the beginning of your disagreement.

The iBooks authoring system is proprietary. Any work created using the iBooks authoring system cannot be sold without permission from Apple. Also iBooks authoring system uses a proprietary ebook standard that is supported only by the iBook reader. So you also need permission from Apple to read the books created. If a reader cannot obtain an iBook app they cannot use iBook content.

Yes, you can create an equivalent work, using industry standard tools, that can be used with industry standard readers, but then they wouldn't be iBook.

RE: Here we go again..
By silvaensis on 1/21/2012 6:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
The fact of the matter is the ibook authoring system is a revolutionary idea, but honestly trying to cut out the publishers and the other vendors will kill apple in the long run.
I honestly think an open format for this should be done for textbooks and other books making it easier for authors to publish their work and keep more of the profits

It will never work for something as broad as books if you cut out the ability to publish it anywhere else it just would never be cost effective for an author.

Apple shouldn't be stupid enough to challenge amazon and the big publishers on this they might be able to team up with amazon and b/n and cut out the publishers but trying to fight the other book retailers and the publishers is just suicide.

Honestly though I do love the idea but they really do need to realize that such an isolated system does not work all the time if you want to get above the 5-10% marketshare.

RE: Here we go again..
By Just Tom on 1/21/2012 11:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, what revenue stream is Apple going to achieve under your scenario? They give the tool away for free, allowing the product to be published in other venues means they do not get paid.

RE: Here we go again..
By saiyan on 1/20/2012 4:31:46 PM , Rating: 1
Look at their new book publishing services they just launched that forces the author to only sell their works through Apple

Once again another Apple hater twisting facts and lies about iBooks store.

FACT: You can submit EPUB ebooks created by 3rd party tools to iBooks store.

FACT: Apple's iBooks Author is a ***FREE*** program designed to direct export and publishing of ebooks to iBooks Store. Files (not contents) generated by this program can only be sold in iBooks store but ***no one forces you*** to use this program.

If you want to produce ebooks which you want to sell on multiple platforms, you can use free epub creation tools, Adobe In-Design or even Apple Page to create EPUB files.

Please repeat the followings in you head:
1) No one forces you to use iBooks Author.
2) You can use any 3rd party tools to create EPUB files which can be sold on iBooks store as well as other ebook stores.
3) If you sell ebooks created by iBooks Author on iBooks store, you are still free to create ebooks containing the same contents using 3rd party tools so you can sell them on other platforms. Double work and effort? Yes. But once again, no one forces you to use iBooks Author.

Why should Apple provide you a ***FREE*** and excellent authoring tool so you can create ebooks to be sold on other platforms like Amazon Kindle?

If Amazon provides a free authoring tool as good as iBooks Author but you can only use it to produce ebooks for Kindle readers, will you complain about it?

No, you will be singing praises of Amazon and say what a cool authorizing tool Amazon has created allowing you to publish directly to Amazon store.

Once again. Haters will hate and often twisting facts, especially for Apple haters, no matter what.

RE: Here we go again..
By Aries1470 on 1/21/2012 12:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
Wow. I admittedly normaly am against (cr)APPLE on many things, but this one, I MUST agree with them!
If you want to use someones *FREE* software, you take it with their limitations!
How different is it to the *NORMAL* exclusivity that publishers get for publishing YOUR book?
You sign contracts etc and you are stuck with the 1 publisher.
So can someone explain to me, how this is different?

If it is so good, and worth using, you may limit your exposure, but you will still get to sell. It is your decision to make whos tools you use and where to publish.

Go (-cr) APPLE! This is for once a nice move, that is totally business as it should be.
They made a program for THEIR ecosystem, it is THEIR right to lock it down or open it up as much as they want!

p.s. I use to LOVE APPLE alot in the past, until Jobs came back. He did a great job turning the company around but did not like his practices. Especially ever since he broke his promise and cancelled all agreaments for 3rd party Apple Mac clone manufacturers!

p.s.2 I still have and still will keep my sticker I got from them in 1983/84 in Greece in one of the 1st computer expo's there that is the color Apple logo! And no, I have been asked, and I am not selling it!

RE: Here we go again..
By Fritzr on 1/21/2012 12:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
by saiyan on January 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Look at their new book publishing services they just launched that forces the author to only sell their works through Apple

Once again another Apple hater twisting facts and lies about iBooks store.

I love the way way you spun that :D Your first reading error is in your very first line. It is the authoring system not the bookstore.

1: The article states that the iBook authoring system requires any work to be sold ONLY with permission from Apple.

2: The article does NOT state that iBook authoring system is required to create content for the iBook reader. You can even create iBook authoring standard content using other tools. What happens if you use the iBook authoring system standards though, is that you cannot use any reader except iBook.

No need to twist the facts

The iBook authoring system is free to use

Content created using the iBook authoring system can ONLY be sold by Apple or with written permission from Apple

Content created using iBook authoring system extensions will not be usable on any reader except iBook.

Very simply; Use the iBook authoring system OR the standards it adds and you are tied to Apple and Apple alone. No competing product will be compatible without a license from Apple. The history of such licenses gives little confidence of future support on non-Apple readers.

RE: Here we go again..
By Fritzr on 1/21/2012 12:38:27 AM , Rating: 2

Yes it is nice of Apple to distribute a tool for creating product that you cannot use to create works that you can sell without written permission from Apple. This is fairly common, but is more normally referred to as "giving our suppliers the tools they need to conform to our standards"

Should Amazon distribute a similar tool that is Kindle only then it would get a similar reaction. They could. All they need to do is to design a set of proprietary extensions, add support for the extensions to the Kindle and invite people to generate content that can only be sold by Amazon and used only on the Kindle.

Microsoft has used this business model for many years and is routinely criticized for it. The general form is called "Embrace, Extend, Exterminate". This business model is why IE6 is still an extremely popular piece of malware. This business model is why Sun revoked the Java license granted to Microsoft.

Apple's Inovation is crap
By vizotv on 1/21/2012 5:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
The Idea of Tablets, and portable communications devices have been around as far back as when they were first featured in Star Trek in 1964. Just because Someone takes that idea and turns it into a reality, doesent mean its Inovative. More so a theif. like a quote from the movie The Pirates of silicon valley, where mr Jobs quotes "good artists copy, great artists steal".

RE: Apple's Inovation is crap
By Tony Swash on 1/21/2012 8:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
Just because Someone takes that idea and turns it into a reality, doesent mean its Inovative.

Do you realise how insanely stupid that statement is?

Here goes. I have had the following ideas:

Limitless energy from fusion
Faster than light travel

Now if anybody actually makes any of that happen I can say "Just because Someone takes that idea and turns it into a reality, doesent mean its Inovative."

Sheesh - engage your brain before typing please because reading your stuff makes my brain hurt :)

RE: Apple's Inovation is crap
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/24/2012 8:27:31 AM , Rating: 1
Sheesh - engage your brain before typing please because reading your stuff makes my brain hurt :)
Just like you give people headaches with your drivel. Funny how that works...

Time for action
By augiem on 1/20/2012 2:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
We need to get a huge class action lawsuit together against the USPTO. It's gone way too far and the politicians do give a rats a**.

You can patent the fact that a hyperlink that goes from a specific page to a specific target???!!! Whoever owns the patent on the technology hyperlinking (if anyone) is the only one who deserves any rights here.

I don't care if the lawyers take home 2.2 billion as long as the USPTO is crushed and restructured in the wake.

RE: Time for action
By augiem on 1/20/2012 2:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
Same thing needs to follow in other countries.

Tapping a phonenumber
By cfaalm on 1/22/2012 6:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
I could do that in Windows Mobile 6.x Well not exactly tapping it but selecting it and push enter equals tapping it in today's world. What a farce. Stuff it, Apple. How the hell can they patent that? It's a simple evolotion taking things that already exist into the touchscreen realm.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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