Japan rules for Samsung in Apple battle

Tokyo court awards legal costs to Samsung and refuses Apple’s claim that South Korean rival infringed on its patents.

Apple in Japan
Tokyo court rules that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent [AP]

A court in Japan has ruled that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent, in the latest episode of the global legal war between the technology giants.

The Tokyo court’s three-judge panel awarded legal costs to Samsung on Friday and refused Apple’s claim that Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets had infringed its patents.

“The defendant’s products do not seem like they used the same technology as the plaintiff’s products so we turn down the complaints made by [Apple],” Presiding Judge Tamotsu Shoji told the court.

Samsung welcomed the Tokyo District Court’s decision and said it will “continue to offer highly innovative products to consumers, and continue our contributions toward the mobile industry’s development”.

The ruling comes a week after a US court ordered Samsung to pay Apple more than $1bn in damages for illegally copying its iconic iPhone and iPad “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

The high-profile verdict affects patents on a range of Samsung products which include some of its popular smartphones and the Galaxy 10 tablet.

California-based Apple Inc, had claimed over $1m in compensation from Samsung’s Japanese units, accusing it of stealing technology used to transfer music and video files.

Apple’s legal representatives refused to comment on whether they would appeal.

Samsung Electronics Company is the world’s largest maker of phones and has been steadfast in denying its rival’s claims by pursuing a string of counter cases filed across the globe.

The South Korean electronics multinational has vowed to keep fighting against its rival insisting a victory for Apple will result in “fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices”.

Ina Fried, the senior editor at technology website All Things Digital, told Al Jazeera that the key unanswered question in the smartphone industry is “whose technology is more essential and whose technology is being borrowed”.

“I think the consumer is going to lose … until there is an understanding throughout the industry. What there needs to be is an agreement. And typically that comes after a few court cases, where the sides pay each other for certain patents, go their own ways in other areas, but until there is that certainty, a lot of time, energy and money is going to be wasted in court hearings,” she said.

Source: News Agencies