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Apple Loses Dutch Patent Case Against Samsung on Touch Screen

Apple Inc. lost a Dutch court ruling in a patent lawsuit over Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy handsets.

Samsung’s Galaxy products using certain versions of Google Inc.’s Android operating system don’t infringe Apple patents concerning so-called multi-touch flags, Judge Peter Blok said in a ruling today in The Hague, Netherlands. Apple claims Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe a patent for technology that interprets finger activity on touch screens.

The ruling is the latest in a long line of disputes in courts across the globe as rivals including HTC Corp., Apple and Samsung fight for dominance in the smart phone and tablet-computer markets. The Hague-based court said today’s verdict follows similar rulings in the U.K. and Germany on the touch-screen patents.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, was also ordered to pay Samsung about 325,000 euros ($420,000) in costs, the judge said. Steve Park, a spokesman for Apple in Seoul, declined to comment.

The court started a new round of trials between Apple and Samsung in the Netherlands in September, 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 smart phone market that grew 62 percent to $219 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

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