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Apple wins patent case versus Samsung in Japan court

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Apple Inc. has won another patent case versus its notorious rival Samsung Electronics Co., Tokyo District Court announced.

Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa ruled in favor of Apple Inc. saying that iPhone 4s, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 did not infringe on data communication patents as opposed to Samsung?s accusation.

?We are disappointed by the court?s decision,? Samsung said in an e-mailed statement earlier today that was published on Bloomberg.com. ?Upon a thorough review of the ruling, we will determine which measures to take, including an appeal.?

Another trial between Apple and Samsung

A month ago, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. failed to reach an agreement over a U.S. patent dispute even though there had been mediation process. These two technology giants have been in mobile-device patent disputes for the past years and next week, a San Jose courtroom will resume a court trial involving Apple?s claims that Samsung?s Galaxy S3 smartphone copies its technology. Apple is seeking up to $40 per unit in damages against Samsung if it would be found that Samsung is guilty of infringing all five of Apple’s software patents, namely: autocomplete, data synchronization, phone-number tapping, slide to unlock, and search functions.

According to reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung chief Shin Jong-Kyun attempted to settle the dispute with the help of a mediator as urged by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh but the talks failed and no agreement had been reached.

It could be remembered that last August 2012, a jury in San Jose, California awarded Apple more than $1 billion after finding out that some Samsung devices had infringed Apple?s patents. And in November 2013, the same court ordered Samsung to pay an addition $290 million in damages to Apple for copying iPhone and iPad features.

FOSS Patents Founder Florian Mueller?s take on this:

In his blog, FOSS Patents founder Florian Mueller, award-winning intellectual property activist-turned-analyst wrote:

$40 per unit. For five software patents. Give me a break. Reality distortion would be a total understatement for this.

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Apple’s royalty-type damages claim for five software patents is also far out of the ballpark of anything that has ever been claimed or rumored to be paid in this industry for entire portfolios. After Apple and Nokia settled in 2011, the highest per-unit royalty estimate I heard about (and this was just an analyst’s claim, not official information) was in the $10 range — for Nokia’s huge portfolio of SEPs and non-SEPs, not for a handful of patents. Guesstimates of what various Android device makers pay to Microsoft — again, for a portfolio license, not a five-patent license — that have appeared in the media did not exceed $15-20 per unit, at least the ones I’m aware of.

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I can understand that Apple, almost three years after having filed its first lawsuit against Samsung, is disappointed with the fact that it has no enforceable remedies in place in the United States. But seeking out-of-this-world damages based on bizarre theories of what a hypothetical negotiation would result in is not the answer.

Florian Mueller, an award-winning intellectual property activist-turned-analyst, advises clients on the patent wars surrounding mobile devices, and on their economic and technical implications. He is also working on a game app for smartphones and tablet computers.

 

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