A Tokyo court yesterday dismissed Apple Inc’s claim that Samsung Electronics Co had infringed on its patent — the latest ruling in the global legal battle between the two technology titans over smartphones.
The Japanese court case addressed only the synchronizing technology that allows media players to share data with PCs and was not comparable in scope to the much larger victory that Apple won in the US last week.
Samsung, the world’s largest maker of phones, welcomed the Tokyo District Court ruling that its technology that allows media players and PCs to share music files and other content did not infringe on Apple patents as confirming “our long-held position.”
“We will continue to offer highly innovative products to consumers, and continue our contributions toward the mobile industry’s development,” the South Korean company said in a statement.
The Apple lawyer present at the courthouse declined to comment, and the company said later it had no comment, including whether it intended to appeal.
In a session lasting just a few minutes, Judge Tamotsu Shoji said he did not think Samsung products fell into the realm of Apple technology and dismissed the lawsuit, filed by the Cupertino, California-based maker of the hit iPhone and iPad in August last year.
A jury in California ruled on Friday last week that Samsung products, which rely on Google Inc’s Android technology, illegally used such Apple creations as the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.
The jury awarded Apple US$1 billion in damages, and a judge is now evaluating Apple’s request to have eight Samsung products pulled from shelves and banned from the US market, including popular Galaxy model smartphones. Samsung’s latest hit, Galaxy S III, was not part of the US ruling.
Yesterday’s ruling was the first held in Japan in the Samsung-Apple global court battle, but other technology is being contested by the two companies in separate legal cases in Japan. Yesterday’s case also did not involve a request to have Samsung products banned.
Apple products are extremely popular among Japanese consumers, but major Japanese carriers such as NTT DoCoMo sell Samsung smartphones as well. Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp also makes smartphones similar to Samsung’s, using Android technology.