Samsung’s legal battles against Apple were put on a temporary hold as a court in Manheim, Germany that is dealing with seven patent claims Samsung filed against Apple ruled against Samsung in one of the claims. Further, Samsung’s latest release, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has become the latest target of Apple’s litigation department as the company has decided to sue Samsung for infringing on its trademark “swipe to unlock” feature.
The Manheim Regional Court rejected a complaint which claimed that Apple violated a 3G/UMTS wireless telecom standard developed by Samsung. It appears that the judgment was delivered in favor of Apple either because the court understood that there was no infringement or that Apple in essence was licensed to use these standards. The result of this judgment directly influences the other patent infringement claims that Samsung has filed against Apple.
If it was indeed rejected on grounds of non-infringement, then there is a possibility that the other six claims may still be granted in favor of Samsung. However, if it was rejected on grounds of expiration of patent or validity of license, then Samsung will definitely lose all six of the remaining claims except one. However, Samsung also has two patent claims against Apple related to smiley and emoticon inputs, which are unrelated to the 3G/UMTS standard and are hence likely to be unaffected by the latest ruling.
Samsung said it was disappointed by the verdict on the first patent claim but went on to say that this judgment was not an indication the prospects of the other six patent claims. The company said that the judgment does not affect the determination of the other claims, which will be judged upon in the next couple of weeks, as it believes that the nature of each case is unique and that the verdict will be determined by a case-specific analysis of all the patents. Samsung said it will await further details and analysis about the cause of rejection before making a decision about an appeal.
Parallel to these lawsuits, Apple has also filed a patent infringement claim related to the “slide to unlock” feature first seen in the Apple iPhone. The legal battle between the two smartphone giants is expected to continue in the long term and it seems to have rejuvenated after dying down for a while in between. The two companies have been in court since April when Apple drew first blood.