Apple defeated additional patent infringement claims [Asahi Shimbun AJW report] made by Samsung Electronics [corporate websites] in Japan, it was reported Saturday, overcoming Samsung's attempt to enjoin iPhone sales in the country. The Tokyo District Court [official website, in Japanese] rejected Samsung's claims that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S infringed on Samsung patents in the areas of its smartphone application downloading technology and its "airplane mode" communications suspension feature. In September the court held that Apple's application downloading scheme differs from Samsung's, and in October the court further ruled that the iPhone's airplane mode function does not constitute an infringement because the technology is not a nonobvious innovation, in that a person having ordinary skill in the field could have easily created the technology based on existing prior art [Cornell LII backgrounders]. Apple is also currently appealing a separate patent infringement loss [JURIST report] that was handed down by the Tokyo court in August.
Judge Tamotsu Shoji ruled in August that Samsung did not violate [JURIST report] Apple's patents for inventions allowing smart phones and tablets to synchronize music and video data with servers. The court subsequently dismissed Apple's claim for USD $1.3 million in damages along with its request for an injunction to block the sale of eight Samsung products in Japan. Apple's appeal is the most recent event in a protracted patent litigation battle [JURIST op-ed] with Samsung that spans four continents. The Tokyo court handed down its August ruling after Apple won a USD $1.05 billion judgment [JURIST report; video] against Samsung in late August in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website]. The dispute covered everything from the shape and design of the competing companies' tablets and smartphones to the technology employed in the devices' software interface. Further, a South Korean court held in mid-August that the technology companies had violated [JURIST report] each others' patents and banned sales of several products in the country.