A German court on Friday found Apple Inc.'s patent infringement claim on Samsung Electronics Co. invalid, giving an upper hand to the Korean company that suffered a crushing defeat in an earlier U.S. jury verdict.
The district court in Mannheim, one of the three German courts the two rivals have been facing off in, ruled Samsung didn't infringe the iPhone maker's patent on multi-touch flags. Samsung and Apple have also lodged injunctions and infringement claims in courts in Dusseldorf and Munich.
The Cupertino, California firm claimed Samsung's mobile devices infringed the patent that interprets finger activity on touchscreens, which consumers frequently use to copy text.
The patent is one of the six intellectual properties Apple addressed in its June 2011 claim against the Korean tech titan. Four of Apple's six claims are pending a court ruling, while the remaining claim has also been ruled invalid.
Samsung welcomed the German court's ruling, pledging to continue its efforts to satisfy consumers.
"For decades, we have heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological and design innovations in the mobile industry, which have been constantly reflected in our products," the company said in a statement.
"We will continue to further develop and introduce products that enhance the lives of German consumers."
Samsung and Apple are locked in courtroom tussles in four continents as they vie to rule the $219 billion global smartphone market. In an Aug. 24 ruling, a South Korean court ruled the two top smartphone makers infringed each others' patents.
However, a U.S. jury verdict on the same day recommended Samsung pay US$1.05 billion in damages for infringing six Apple patents, while denying the Korean firm's claims.
Following the loss, Samsung vowed to step up its fight against Apple. On Thursday, the company said it is mulling adding the iPhone 5 to its patent infringement claim. (Yonhap)