Skip to main content

Japanese court backs Samsung in latest Apple skirmish

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 6:25 AM EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
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.
  • 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

What the Apple-Samsung verdict means
Apple vs. Samsung: Tale of two countries
Samsung unveils iPad killer?

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.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.