Patent Battles: Apple Beats Samsung in Japan, Loses in U.S.

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The U.S. isn’t the only place that smartphone rivals Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) are embroiled in litigation over patent infringement. The world’s two largest smartphone makers have been calling each other copycats in Japanese courts as well, and on Tuesday a judge there issued a ruling that Apple’s older iPads and iPhones do not infringe on data communications patents owned by Samsung.

That decision was made by Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa. Apple will not have to pay Samsung any damages for technology found in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2.

Samsung issued a statement on the ruling to Bloomberg, saying: “We are disappointed by the court’s decision. Upon a thorough review of the ruling, we will determine which measures to take, including an appeal.”

The companies have long accused each other of copying device designs and infringing patents in courts all over the world. According to Apple Insider, Apple has thus far been the most successful in the litigation, but that is constantly changing as the two companies win damages and then countersue in a seemingly endless stream of legal woes that is making some lawyers very rich and revealing how broken the current patent system is. Both companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees fighting over patents.

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