Samsung suffered another reversal in its patent battle with Apple on Friday morning, as the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany dismissed the Korean company’s second patent complaint related to 3G/UMTS technology. Last week, the same court had rejected another complaint involving a separate patent that also dealt with 3G.
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents was in attendance at the court’s announcement of the ruling on Friday and said that Judge Andreas Voss didn’t specify any particular reason for the decision. The first ruling against Samsung last week also didn’t include a reason. Mueller said at that time that the reasons could either be that Apple had been found not to infringe the patent or that Samsung’s rights in exerting the patent had been deemed exhausted, which would result in Apple’s being granted a license by default. The same reasons could also be applied to Friday’s ruling.
For Samsung, this is definitely a setback, but it isn’t the end of the road; the company still has three other 3G/UMTS patents at issue in separate complaints filed with the Mannheim court. As long as the reasons behind the dismissals of these two lawsuits aren’t somehow related to all the patents in question, it could still claim a victory on one or more of those remaining.
Samsung could also still appeal the decision, and given that it, like Apple, posted record earnings for its most recently completed quarter, there is no financial barrier preventing it from doing so. With two companies at the top of their game slugging it out in the legal arena, there is little incentive for either to stop.