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Japanese court backs Samsung in latest Apple skirmish

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
August 31, 2012 -- Updated 1025 GMT (1825 HKT)
Samsung's Galaxy S2 was one of the devices Apple targeted in its latest lawsuit in Japan.
Samsung's Galaxy S2 was one of the devices Apple targeted in its latest lawsuit in Japan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tokyo court rules that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents for its iPhone and iPad
  • Case focused on technology used in some Galaxy devices to transfer data to a computer
  • Samsung was last week ordered to pay $1B for copying look and feel of iPhone, iPad design
  • The two tech giants are locked in numerous patent disputes across the world

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A week after Samsung was ordered to pay $1 billion to Apple for patent infringements, a Japanese court has backed the South Korean company in another dispute with its U.S. rival.

The Tokyo District Court on Friday ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents for its iPhone and iPad for some of its Galaxy smartphones and the Galaxy tablet.

The case focused on technology used in Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab 7 devices to synchronize music and video with a computer -- technology Apple says its rival copied.

However Judge Tamotsu Shoji disagreed and threw out Apple's 100 million yen ($1.27 million) claim and ordered the California-based tech giant to pay the costs of the lawsuit. It has 30 days to file an appeal.

Samsung to fight U.S. court ruling

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In a statement released by Samsung after the decision, it said: "We have been strongly appealing that our products do not infringe the patents of Apple U.S. and its completely different technology.

"The verdict recognizes the lawfulness of our company. We think it is very appropriate."

A ruling against Samsung would have been a severe setback in one of its most lucrative markets.

The South Korean company is already facing the prospect of a U.S. ban on Samsung smartphones and computer tablets found to have violated Apple's patents -- described by one Samsung executive as "absolutely the worst scenario for us."

This followed last Friday's decision by a U.S. federal jury to order Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion for copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad design.

A nine-person jury spent just two and a half days puzzling out its final verdict, with weeks of notes and memories of testimony, 109 pages of jury instructions, and boxes of evidence including a collection of contested smartphones and tablets as their guide.

The lawsuit was the largest yet in the ongoing worldwide patent brawl between the two companies, which itself is just one battle in Apple's war against Google's Android mobile operating system.

In another case just days before, a South Korean court found that both parties had infringed on each other's patents -- Samsung was ordered to pay $33,300 for infringing two of the intellectual property rights for Apple's iPhone and iPad, while Apple was found to have infringed Samsung's Wi-Fi technology and ordered to pay $22,000 in damages.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki and Kevin Voigt contributed to this report.

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