Print 33 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Jan 24 at 8:27 AM

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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RE: Here we go again..
By messele on 1/20/2012 11:36:58 AM , Rating: -1
God yeah, 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 on that for your investors.

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.

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 ?

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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