Technology

Apple loses German patent court case

Apple iPhone
The court case revolved around ways to log how many fingers were touching a screen

A German court has dismissed Apple's allegation that Motorola and Samsung infringed some of its multi-touch patents.

The Mannheim court rejected Apple's claim the two firms had copied how its devices handled data according to how many fingers touched a gadget's screen.

Apple has 30 days to appeal against the court's decision.

The Mannheim case is one of several patent trials Apple is involved with in Germany.

Apple filed separate legal claims against Motorola, now owned by Google, and Samsung over what are known as "touch event" technologies. Rather than examine Apple's claims separately, the German court brought both cases together and issued a joint verdict.

In a blogpost, patent expert Florian Mueller said "touch event" technology was widely used in tablets and smartphones. If the court had backed Apple, its rivals would have had to "rewrite, recompile and reinstall many apps" that used this technology, he said.

The Mannheim ruling is not the first time that Apple has also lost a case on the "touch event" patent. It lost a case against HTC in the UK over the same technology. A Dutch court also rejected Apple's claims that its patent was being abused.

In a separate case being heard in Munich, the court backed Apple's claim that Motorola had infringed its patent on what happened when users scrolled to the end of a page, document or list - a technology known as "overscroll bounce" or "rubber banding".

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