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Samsung Suffers UK Patent Battle Loss To Apple

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Samsung loses tussle at UK High Court

The bitter ongoing patent battle between smartphone heavyweights Apple and Samsung took another twist this week, after a ruling in the UK High Court.

The legal tussle between the two companies has been ongoing for while, with this week’s setback for Samsung in the British courts just the latest development in the ongoing smartphone skirmishes taking place all over the world.

Samsung strife

On Thursday, the High Court rejected Samsung’s allegation that Apple’s iPhone violated three of its patents with its technology to send and receive data over 3G networks.

mueller

“Samsung has now officially failed to prevail on 25 standard-essential patent (SEP) assertions against Apple (including eight patents it withdrew and one case that was stayed in Germany because the patent was deemed likely to be invalid),” wrote patent expert Florian Mueller, in a blog post on the Foss patents website.

“Today Justice Floyd of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales ruled on three Samsung SEP assertions against Apple and declared all three patents invalid.

“Samsung had sued Apple over three allegedly UMTS-essential patents in the UK. Apple denied these allegations and brought counterclaims for declaratory judgement  Apple’s counterclaims succeeded: Justice Floyd declared all three patents-in-suit invalid (this ruling affects the enforceability of these European patents only in the UK, not in other European jurisdictions).”

And to add insult to injury, Mueller highlighted Samsung’s “dismal track record” with its SEP assertions against Apple, which he said undermines its “outrageous 2.4 percent royalty demand”.

He pointed out that not only has Samsung lost more than two dozen SEP assertions against Apple, but it’s also been unable to enforce any non-SEP claims anywhere in the world.

Job for the Judge

Mueller also touched upon another cause for potential embarrassment for Samsung.

“Justice Floyd appears unlikely to follow in Sir Robin Jacob’s footsteps and work for Samsung as an expert witness in USITC investigations,” he wrote, commentating on Samsung’s decision to enlist Sir Robin Jacob, retired Lord Justice, as a paid expert witness only a couple of months after he ruled in its favour.

The latest ruling comes after Nokia joined forces with Apple in its efforts to ban Samsung smartphones. Samsung was also defeated last week in Japan, in its attempt to ban Apple iPhones in that country.

Yet the South Korean giant has won a number of battles with the iPhone maker, after it forced Apple last October to run adverts in the UK press stating that it did not copy Apple technology. This came after the original ruling against Apple, that had stated the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 could not possibly be confused with each other as the Samsung device wasn’t “cool” enough.

And Samsung has also succeeded in reducing the mammoth fine awarded against it in the US courts.

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