German court rejects one of Samsung's patent claims against Apple

A German regional court yesterday rejected one of the five lawsuits involving seven different patents bought on by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co against Apple as the global patent battle between the two technology giants escalate to control the booming smartphone and tablet markets.

Samsung, which, in the third quarter, became the world's top maker of smartphones helped by its Galaxy line of products, lost one of the lawsuits that claimed a patent covering 3G and UMTS telecommunications technology.

The court did not give reasons for rejecting Samsung's patent claim, but industry experts speculate that it was probably because Apple's devices did not infringe its rival's patent.

The court ruling has taken industry experts by surprise since the Judge at the Mannheim court chose to reject Samsung's suit, rather than issue a stay. They reason that if the court determined that Samsung's 3G patent was invalid in Germany, it should have issued a stay rather than a rejection.

The court is to decide on two other Samsung's patent lawsuits on 27 January and 2 March.

"We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany," Samsung said in a statement and added that it is yet to decide whether to appeal the ruling.