Apple loses Samsung patent-infringement lawsuit in Japan

While Apple scored a big patent judgment on its home turf, it hasn't been so fortunate overseas.

After winning a US$1 billion damages award against Samsung last week from a jury in the US, Apple lost a case on Friday in Japan, when a Tokyo judge ruled that its South Korean rival's smartphones and tablet computers don't infringe on the iPhone maker's patents — the latest legal decision in the international struggle between the two companies over intellectual property.

Specifically, Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji found that Samsung did not infringe on patents related to synchronising music and video data in devices to servers, according to a Bloomberg report.

The ruling comes a week after a Seoul court issued a split decision finding that both Apple and Samsung violated each other's patents, and prohibited the companies from selling the infringing devices in South Korea. The three-judge panel in the Seoul Central District Court rejected the notion of "consumer confusion", and awarded both companies fairly insignificant damages.

However, Samsung still faces hefty damages and possible injunctions as a result of last week's verdict in the US. On 6 December, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, the presiding judge in the closely watched trial, will hear Apple's motion for an injunction against eight Samsung mobile phones, as well as the South Korean electronics giant's expected motion to have the jury's verdict set aside. She will also consider modifications to the damages award that could triple the amount that Apple receives from Samsung.

CNET has contacted Apple and Samsung for comment, and we will update this report when we learn more.


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