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Cheer up, Samsung: Tokyo judge bins Apple's sync patent claim

South Koreans didn't nick music transfer idea

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A Tokyo court took a few minutes today to rule that Samsung's Galaxy gear does not infringe an Apple software patent. It hands the South Korean giant a small win after its $1bn thrashing by Apple in an epic US mobile phone patent trial that concluded last week.

Just one patent was being contested in Japan this week, and it involved synchronising libraries of music and the like between mobiles and computers. Judge Tamotsu Shoji said Samsung's technology did not infringe on Apple's intellectual property.

Samsung said it welcomed the decision as confirming its "long-held position" that it wasn't nicking Apple's ideas, the Press Association reported.

"We will continue to offer highly innovative products to consumers, and continue our contributions toward the mobile industry's development," the South Korean firm added.

The lawsuit was dismissed, and it's not immediately clear whether Apple, which filed the patent dispute in August last year, intends to appeal or not.

The judge's decision adds to legal battle wins for Samsung in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and South Korea. But in the biggest court case against Sammy, in which the Galaxy smartphone maker was accused of copying the iPhone design, found in favour of Apple, which won over a billion dollars in damages and the prospect of permanent bans on Sammy products in the US.

Samsung has made it clear that it will fight that Californian jury's verdict, and hopes to get it overturned on appeal.

Today's ruling was the first for Japan, but other patents are being cited in separate legal spats between the two companies in the country. ®

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