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German court shoots down patent gripe against Apple

Samsung 0 for 3 in fruitchomp face-off

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A German court in Mannheim has ruled against one of the patents in a suit brought by Samsung against Apple, one of the many battlegrounds in the tech titans' patent wars.

Samsung can still appeal against the ruling and also has suits claiming a dozen or so other patents are being infringed by the fruitchomp-branded fondleslab firm.

"We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany," Nam Ki-yung, a spokesman for Samsung, told Reuters.

"It should be noted that today's ruling relates to only one of several patents asserted by Samsung in the Mannheim court."

The Samsung/Apple face-off is a struggle for the position of overlord in the smartphone market, a spot scooped by the Korean firm in the third quarter when it became the world's top maker.

Apple has repeatedly claimed that Samsung's mobe models, particularly its popular Galaxy range, "slavishly" copy Cupertino's iPhones and iPads. The Korean tech behemoth, naturally, does not agree.

In the case at hand, Samsung still has two patent claims that the Mannheim court must rule on, decisions the German beaks are due to take on January 27 and March 2.

Both firms have won and lost ground in their IP battles worldwide, with neither seeming to be too bruised by losses or pulling too far ahead with wins.

Apple succeeded in banning one of Samsung's Galaxy Tab fondleslabs in Australia briefly, but by the time the tablet was back on the shelves the Korean firm claimed the publicity from the case had actually helped its marketing.

A Samsung executive told Reuters the company had spent $60m on the legal disputes so far. This figure is a drop in the ocean compared to its profits. ®

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