Samsung wins an Apple patent suit in Japan

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Samsung wins an Apple patent suit in Japan


A man walks by posters advertising Samsung Electronics’ latest smartphone on a street in Seoul yesterday. [AP/YONHAP]

The Tokyo District Court yesterday ruled in favor of Samsung over Apple in another patent battle.

The ruling came a week after the Korean tech giant suffered a crushing defeat against Apple in a court in San Jose, California, that ended up with a $1.05 billion fine and a possible injunction on sales of various Samsung products.

The Japanese court said Samsung has not infringed a utility patent for multimedia content, such as music and video files, that are synchronized wirelessly between smartphones and computers.

“It’s hard to believe the products belong to the range of technologies of the claimant,” Tokyo Judge Tamotsu Shoji was reported to have said by Bloomberg.

The utility patent discussed in Japan was not part of the case Samsung lost at the San Jose court. Apple filed the infringement suit about the technology against Samsung in June 2011.

The Korean tech company welcomed the decision, adding that the ruling confirmed its long-held position that its products did not infringe any of Apple’s intellectual property.

“We will continue to offer highly innovative products to consumers and continue our contributions toward the mobile industry’s development,” the company said in a statement.

Samsung shares, which were tumbling after the market opened yesterday, bounced back after the news on the ruling was announced. The company’s share value was up 1.48 percent from the previous day’s trading to close at 1.23 million won.

Shares of Samsung Electronics’ suppliers went up as well. Shares of Injin Display, which supplies touch screen panels, were up more than 2 percent, while Partron, which makes electronic circuits on mobile devices, saw its shares move up more than 4 percent.

A Seoul court ruled in favor of the Korean company on two patent infringement claims Aug. 24, just hours before the California jury announced its decision, although it ruled in favor of Apple on one patent infringement.

However, the legal battle in Japan between the two major smartphone manufacturers is not over as there is still a case brought by Apple on another patent, the “bounce back” effect on smartphones. Samsung lost on that issue in the U.S. and Seoul courts a week ago.

Additionally, Samsung has six patent suits pending against Apple in Japan.

By Lee Ho-jeong [] , Bloomberg

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