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Samsung's Japanese iPhone block bid fails

Fruity phone remains on sale in Japan as court dismisses patent infringement claims

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Apple’s global patent dispute with Samsung took another twist at the weekend after it was revealed a Tokyo court rejected a request by the Korean electronics giant for an injunction to stop all iPhone sales in Japan.

Samsung’s patent infringement claims revolved around technology used in the iPhone 4 and 4S for the downloading of apps and the airplane mode which turns off all radios so a device can be used in-flight.

However, Tokyo District Court rejected the claims on 14 September and 11 October, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun revealed.

The September case dealt with the app tech and the court ruled that Apple’s technology was sufficiently different to Samsung’s to throw out the injunction request. A month later, the court apparently decided that the patent infringement claim was invalid as the airplane mode feature wasn’t a new innovation as such but an extension of previous innovations.

Tokyo had been a reasonably happy hunting ground for Samsung until that time, after Judge Tamotsu Shoji ruled in August that Samsung’s Galaxy devices do not infringe a single Apple patent related to the synching of music and video data.

Unperturbed, Cupertino last week filed an appeal against this decision, which was something of a surprise coming just a week after Apple won big in California – although Samsung is appealing this decision and the $1bn+ in damages it was ordered to pay. ®

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