German court dismisses Apple and Samsung patent cases


A German court has dismissed patent lawsuits brought by Apple and Samsung against each other, the latest twist in an increasingly bitter battle between the two firms for supremacy in the smart phone and tablet computer markets.

Judges at the Mannheim state court on Friday dismissed a case brought by Apple against Samsung involving ownership of the “slide-to-unlock” feature used on both companies’ respective smartphones, and also rejected a claim by Samsung that Apple had infringed one its third-generation (3G) patents, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Samsung said it would lodge an appeal against the dismissal of its suit against Apple with the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe, adding that a separate case regarding four alleged patent infringements is still pending in Mannheim.

Apple made no immediate statement, but the Mannheim court is expected to rule on another slide-to-unlock lawsuit that it has brought against Samsung on March 16.

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Apple and Samsung, along with rival Motorola Mobility, have been filing patent suits against each other in courts around the world, frequently resulting in temporary bans on key products as the firms bid for dominance of the blossoming smart phone and tablet markets.

Apple brought its first case against Samsung in April, alleging that Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets, which run Google’s Android software, “slavishly” copied Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, Reuters reports.

Samsung has countered with accusations that Apple infringed its 3G patents, and has tried to get sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S banned in Australia, Japan, France and Italy, according to the BBC.

Apple is expected to launch its iPad 3 tablet next week in San Francisco, which may trigger another set of patent suits. 

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