Samsung vs. Apple

Samsung loses bid to block Apple IPhone 4S sales in France

Samsung Electronics Co. failed to win a court order blocking Apple Inc. from selling its newest smartphone, the iPhone 4S, in France.

The Paris court rejected Samsung’s request for an emergency order against Apple while it considers the South Korean company’s patent-infringement claims.

Samsung, the biggest maker of smartphones, sought to block sales of the new handset in France, Italy and the U.K. days after it was unveiled in October, arguing Apple violated its wireless-communications patents. Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung sued in Paris in July over earlier versions of the iPhone and Apple’s iPad tablet.

“The disproportionate character of the ban sought by Samsung against Apple is clear,” Judge Marie-Christine Courboulay said in the decision today.

The Paris court ruled Samsung must pay Apple 100,000 euros ($134,100) for legal fees while denying Apple’s request for damages. Samsung’s claim wasn’t “abusive” and the company’s infringement claims can move forward as a regular lawsuit, Courboulay said.

Florence Catel, a Samsung spokeswoman in Paris, declined to comment on the decision. Calls to Apple’s office in London for comment weren’t immediately returned.

Samsung has been locked in a global legal battle with Apple since the Cupertino, California-based company claimed in an April suit that Samsung’s Galaxy devices copied the iPad and iPhone. Samsung was the world’s biggest maker of smartphones in the last quarter, while Apple dominates the tablet market.

30 lawsuits

The companies have filed at least 30 lawsuits in 10 countries and European Union regulators have started an antitrust probe of the companies’ use of smartphone patents.

A Milan court will hold a hearing Dec. 16 concerning Samsung’s Italian suit. Samsung won a Dec. 3 decision in California, when the U.S. District Court in San Jose rejected Apple’s request to block Samsung’s 4G smartphone and its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer.

(Published by Bloomberg - December 8, 2011)

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