Samsung Unable to Stop iPhone 4s Sales in France – Apple Wins on 3G Patent in France

Posted by at 10:35 am on December 8, 2011

Samsung returned to its string of losses in its legal battle with Apple on Thursday after France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance rejected Samsung’s attempt to secure a preliminary ban on the iPhone 4S. Le Figaro’s Benjamin Ferran, attending the ruling, understood that the action Samsung wanted was “disproportionate.” Along with the determination, Samsung was being ordered to pay some of Apple’s court costs at 100,000 euros ($133,275).

The ruling suggested that the court wasn’t persuaded that the iPhone 4S would do serious damage by remaining on sale. French courts also look at the probability of the plaintiff winning in the full trial and may have determined that there was enough doubt in Samsung’s case that it couldn’t request a ban.

Apple has been hinging most of its defense around both around 3G and patent scope. Like with its win in Dutch court, it has argued that Samsung can’t sue over standards-based 3G patents if it either asks too much for licenses or refuses to offer a license at all. Arguments centered equally on Samsung’s patents having exhausted their reach at Qualcomm, where Apple’s purchase of the chip by definition covered any licenses needed for 3G.

A similar hearing is due in Italy on December 16 and might use the French case as a precedent. If it rules against Samsung, the Korean company will have lost a large part of its immediate attempts to get current Apple hardware banned in Europe and would give Apple more of a bargaining chip.

Samsung was given a reprieve in the US from Apple’s own actions. Both, however, are still in a race to get any preliminary bans they can, since having them in important countries could theoretically push one side or the other into a settlement for fear of losing out on sales months before full trials start.

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