German Court Rejects Samsung 3G Claims Against Apple’s iPhone



A German court Friday threw out Samsung’s patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple. The South Korean smartphone maker had claimed the iPhone maker violated a patent related to 3G wireless communications. Samsung had filed seven patent violation claims against Apple in Germany.

The intriguing aspect of the court’s ruling was its lack of explanation, prompting some experts to question whether today’s rejection indicates Samsung faces more legal rebuffs. According to patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, if the German court had rejected Samsung’s argument on Apple’s use of 3G, the judge would have issued a stay.

“There are two reasonably likely possibilities: either Apple’s products weren’t deemed to infringe on the patent in a technical sense or the court believes Samsung’s rights are exhausted and Apple has, by extension, a technical license,” writes Mueller.

If the rejection was based on a technicality, Samsung could still proceed with its other four remaining lawsuits against Apple. But if the company has exhausted its legal claims, “all but one of the four remaining Samsung lawsuits in Germany… would likely be thrown out as well,” Mueller adds.

Ironically, the decision by Judge Andreas Voss comes just days after Apple filed a new claim against Samsung, requesting the German court ban sale of Samsung’s Galaxy II smartphone, nine other handsets and five tablets.

  • Len Williams

    This is legal wrangling on Samsung’s part. Since Apple is actively suing them for ripping off the design, look and feel, and basic functionality of the iPhone and iPad, Samsung is hoping it can bring suit against Apple and win so that it has bargaining rights. The strategy is that if Samsung can gain legal points, they can force Apple to drop some or all of their suits in return for Samsung dropping some or all of their suits. It’s a rough game of corporate maneuvering. 

    Samsung has much to answer for in their copying of Apple’s products. The main argument seems to be that there is really only one way a phone or tablet can look and operate–which is patently false. Much to my surprise, the company that proves this point is Microsoft with its Windows 8 Mobile software. It’s one of the few things that Microsoft hasn’t copied from Apple, and I applaud their innovation by showing other technology companies (pay attention Samsung) that it really is possible to create ideas that don’t mimic everything Apple does.