Tech

Japanese Court Says Samsung Didn’t Infringe On Apple Patent

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A South Korea shop manager shows Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S mobile phone (R) and Apple's iPhone 3G at a shop in Seoul on July 27, 2010. . (Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images)

A South Korea shop manager shows Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S mobile phone (R) and Apple’s iPhone 3G at a shop in Seoul on July 27, 2010. . (Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images)

TOKYO (CBS / AP) — A Tokyo court on Friday dismissed Apple Inc.’s claim that Samsung had infringed on its patent—the latest ruling in the global legal battle over smartphones that pits the two technology titans against each other.

Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, the world’s largest maker of phones, welcomed the Tokyo District Court ruling that its technology to synchronize mobile players with computers did not infringe on Apple patents as confirming “our long-held position.”

“We will continue to offer highly innovative products to consumers, and continue our contributions toward the mobile industry’s development,” the company said in a statement.

The Apple lawyer present at the courthouse declined comment, and it was not immediately clear whether Apple would appeal.

In a session lasting a few minutes, Judge Tamotsu Shoji said he did not think Samsung products fell into the realm of Apple technology and dismissed the lawsuit, filed by Apple in August last year.

Apple, the Cupertino-based maker of the hit iPhone and iPad, is embroiled in similar legal squabbles around the world over whether Samsung smartphones, which relies on Google Inc.’s Android technology, illegally used Apple designs, ideas or technology.

In one such case, a jury in California ruled last week that Samsung products illegally used such Apple creations as the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

The jury awarded Apple $1 billion in damages, and a judge is now evaluating Apple’s request to have eight Samsung products pulled from shelves and banned from the U.S. market, including popular Galaxy model smartphones. Samsung’s latest hit, Galaxy S3, was not part of the U.S. ruling.

Friday’s ruling was the first held in Japan in the Samsung-Apple global court battle, but other technology is being contested by the two companies in separate legal cases in Japan.

Apple products are extremely popular among Japanese consumers, but major Japanese carriers such as NTT DoCoMo sell Samsung smartphones as well. Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp. also makes smartphones similar to Samsung’s, using Android technology.

Samsung has sold more than 50 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 smartphones around the world. The legal battle also involves Samsung’s Tab device, which Apple claims infringes on patents related to the iPad tablet.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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