A Tokyo judge has ruled in favor of Apple in one of the numerous patent lawsuits the two smartphone giants are engaged in globally. Apple accused its chief rival of copying a visual effect used in iPhones and iPads. The feature causes the icons or images on a device’s screen to “bounce” when a user scrolls to the end of a file.
“The ruling is an interim decision, with the case continuing as the court figures out appropriate compensation for Apple,” said The Wall Street Journal.
Samsung has already changed the “bounce-back” feature on its latest phones. Now, if someone scrolls too far on a current Samsung device, the screen will show a blue light instead. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected an Apple patent on this feature in April.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
According to Reuters, the two electronics companies are presently waging legal battles in more than 10 countries. Apple and Samsung are the top two smartphone manufacturers in the world, both intent on capturing as much of the $346 billion mobile-device market as possible.
Samsung currently holds 47 percent of the “premium smartphone” market, which includes smartphones that retail for more than $400, claimed a market study by Counterpoint Technology. Apple, beneath Samsung for the first time, captured a 38 percent share. Interestingly, Samsung failed to displace Apple’s number one spot in only one country: Japan.
“Smartphone shipments rose 4 percent to 6.81 million units in Japan during the first three months of 2013, according to research company IDC. Apple had 40 percent of sales, while Samsung didn’t rank in the top five,” reported Bloomberg.
Even without Japanese rallying behind Samsung, Apple is facing ever-increasing rivalry from the Korean powerhouse. “The 2 year race between Apple and Samsung might finally come to an end this year as Samsung shows signs of becoming almost as dominant as Nokia once was in the smartphone market,” Peter Richardson stated in the Counterpoint Technology report.
The Tokyo District Court had also ruled against Apple in August. In that suit, the Cupertino-based company had claimed that Samsung smartphones and tablets copied an Apple-patented music and video synchronization service. In February, a Samsung request to ban the sale of iPhones and iPads in Japan was similarly dismissed.
Earlier this month, Samsung was the victor in a separate lawsuit against Apple. The verdict saw several older Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4, banned from U.S. import. Apple made clear their plans to appeal.
Samsung said that it would “study [today’s] ruling” before entering an appeal.