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Samsung Says Apple Patent Invalid as Court Hears Claim on Galaxy

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Apple Inc.’s patent claim on so-called multi-touch flags isn’t valid, as its main competitor in smartphones pursues an infringement case in the Netherlands to ban Samsung Galaxy handsets.

Apple claims Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe the patent that interprets finger activity on touchscreens. Cupertino, California-based Apple lost an earlier claim against HTC Corp. in the U.K. for infringing the patent, as a U.K. judge said it was invalid because it was too obvious, according to Bas Berghuis van Woortman, a lawyer for Simmons & Simmons LLP representing Samsung.

“The patent is just a marginal solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” the Samsung lawyer said in court in The Hague.

The court started a new round of trials between Apple and Samsung today concerning multiple patents and proceedings as Apple seeks a ban on Galaxy devices in the country, where the Suwon, South Korea-based company has its distribution center for Europe. The companies compete in a global smartphone market that grew 62 percent to $219 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

In Germany, Apple started a similar action against both Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit and Samsung. A Mannheim court is scheduled to issue a verdict Sept. 21. Last year, Apple’s claims about several smartphone and tablet patents were dismissed in the Netherlands in preliminary proceedings.

Apple won a verdict of more than $1.05 billion in the U.S. Aug. 24 after jurors found Samsung infringed six of seven patents for mobile devices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maaike Noordhuis in Amsterdam at mnoordhuis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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