German court throws out Apple, Samsung patent suits

A German court has thrown out patent infringement suits bought on by Apple and Samsung against each other over ownership of the "slide-to-unlock" feature used on their respective smartphones.

Both technology giants saw their patent case filed against each other being summarily thrown out in a court in Mannheim state, but both vowed to appeal against the ruling.

The court found that Apple's unlocking function involves an on-screen start and end point and works when a finger sweeps in a roughly straight line, while Samsung's slide-to-unlock feature differs as it allows gestures of any path between start and target, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Apple's claim was dismissed because the judge determined that there was enough difference between Apple's method and the one used by Samsung smartphones to avoid any patent infringement.

South Korea-based Samsung welcomed the ruling against Apple, but said, "We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany."

The company, which has four patent infringements cases against Apple still pending in the Mannheim court, said that it would appeal against the ruling.