FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German court ruled against Apple Inc in two patent cases against Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility, owned by Google.
The Mannheim court ruled that Samsung and Motorola didn't infringe a technology related to touch-screen functions.
The ruling came as customers queued at Apple stores across the world to buy the new version of the company's iPhone.
The touch-screen technology is used in a number of applications running on Google's mobile platform Android. Industry analysts had feared a ruling in favor of Apple could have a wider impact on the smartphone industry.
Samsung said in a statement it welcomed the ruling, while Apple declined to comment.
Motorola could not immediately reached for comment.
Last month Apple scored a landmark legal victory over Samsung when a U.S. jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages.
Technology companies have invested billions of dollars in buying up patent portfolios that they can use against rivals and have also ploughed money into litigation in the United States and Europe.
Germany has become a major battleground in the global patent war between makers of mobile phones, tablet computer devices and their operating software, as court actions there have proved to be relatively cheap and speedier than in other jurisdictions.
Last week a court in Munich ruled that Motorola had infringed Apple's "overscroll bounce" technology patent, which enables users to move documents over the screen of their device and let them bounce back to the center after releasing their fingers.
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Miyoung Kim in Seoul; Editing by David Holmes)
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This is most the obvious and the most packed with irony, given that Apple is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/apple-samsung-lawsuit-verdict_n_1829268.html?1345857263&utm_hp_ref=technology" target="_hplink">suing</a> Samsung in every country it can. The new, larger iPhone -- with a 4-inch display vs. the 3.5-inch display on all older models -- is closer in size to the 4.8-inch span on the Galaxy S III's screen. Was Apple's decision to up the iPhone's screen real estate a response to the popularity of Samsung's plus-sized and popular handsets?
Google, which makes the operating system the Galaxy smartphones run on, is also embroiled in spat with the iPhone maker. Apple snidely decided to make <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/apple-debuts-maps-app_n_1587726.html" target="_hplink">its own map app for iOS 6</a>, which ships on the iPhone 5; Google Maps won't be preloaded onto iOS 6 devices. (Users can still go to the App Store and download it themselves.) Apple touts Maps as being <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/" target="_hplink">smooth and responsive,"</a> implying that Google Maps left something to be desired.
HTC And Nokia
So the new iPhone can take panoramic photographs, huh? Where have we seen that before? Oh right: Both HTC and Nokia smartphones. Nokia's new Lumia 920 comes with a camera setting that lets users <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-57510802-233/iphone-5-vs-galaxy-s3-vs-lumia-920-by-the-numbers/" target="_hplink">create panorama shots of their surroundings</a>; HTC Windows Phones have come with a similar tool into the camera software "for some time now," <a href="http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/44983/nokia-creative-studio-for-windows-phone" target="_hplink">according to Pocket-lint</a>. (Image courtesy of Apple.)
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