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Friday, January 27, 2012, 04:10 am PT (07:10 am ET)

German court dismisses second Samsung patent suit against Apple

In an early morning ruling on Friday, the Mannheim Regional Court dismissed the second of five 3G/UMTS standards patent suits Samsung leveled against Apple.

Judge Andreas Voss handed down the ruling that echoed the German court's rejection to a similar suit one week ago, though he stopped short of announcing the reason behind the decision, reports Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

Mueller, who attended the hearing, explains that the outcome may be based on the validity of specific details regarding the case, and notes that Samsung's two losses don't necessarily affect the company's three pending claims. However, if the basis of the ruling stemmed from patent exhaustion, it is likely that the remaining wireless patent cases will be thrown out.

The South Korean electronics maker has brought five suits against Apple in Germany, arguing that the Cupertino, Calif., company infringed on certain 3G/UMTS wireless standards patents.

So far, Samsung has been largely unsuccessful in Mannheim as it lost the first two complaints in the span of one week, however the company has the option to appeal to the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court.

In addition to the 3G patent claims, Samsung has lodged two separate non-standards-related patent complaints against the Cupertino, Calif., including one involving the use of emoticons on mobile devices.

Mannheim Court

Mannheim Regional Court in Baden-Württemberg, Germany


Today's news comes after Apple filed its own suit in Germany seeking a ban on Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone as well as nine other handsets and five tablet models.

The iPad maker was successful in forcing a redesign of the Galaxy Tab, though a subsequent suit claiming that the new design still infringes on the iPad's looks is seen as an unlikely win for Apple.

Most recently, Apple was dealt a blow by a Dutch court that found the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to not infringe on the iPad's industrial design.

The epic patent battle began in Germany when Apple first sued Samsung in April 2011 for allegedly copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. Since then, the two companies have been at loggerheads over a number of lawsuits, with cases in 10 countries spanning across four continents.