Apple loses patent appeal in Japan

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Apple loses patent appeal in Japan

Apple lost its appeal in a Japan lawsuit claiming that Samsung Electronics infringed on a patent for synchronizing music and video data on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets with servers.

The ruling at the Intellectual Property High Court in Tokyo upheld an earlier decision in favor of Samsung. In August, the Tokyo District Court rejected Cupertino, California-based Apple’s claim that the Galaxy maker’s mobile devices infringe on a synchronization invention.

Samsung welcomed the court’s decision, Yasukuni Ogiwara, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the company, said by e-mail. Takashi Takebayashi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Apple, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

The world’s two biggest smartphone makers have each scored victories in patent disputes fought on four continents since Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its devices. The companies are competing for dominance of a global mobile-device market estimated by researcher Yankee Group at $346 billion in 2012.

Last week, Tokyo District Court upheld Apple’s separate claim that Samsung infringed on the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the bottom.

The court in February rejected Samsung’s request to suspend sales of iPhones and iPads.

Shipments of tablet computers in Japan more than doubled to 5.68 million units in the year ending March 31, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute. Apple controlled 53 percent of the market, while Samsung ranked fifth with 4.3 percent, the researcher said last month.

Samsung has lost 15 percent this year. Apple has dropped 24 percent in 2013.

Smartphone shipments rose 4 percent to 6.81 million units in Japan during the first three months of 2013, according to research company IDC. Apple had 40 percent of sales, while Samsung didn’t rank in the top five, the researcher said last week.

Globally, Samsung has about 33 percent of the smartphone market and Apple about 18 percent, according to data released by Strategy Analytics in April. Bloomberg
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