Samsung might get the chance to publicly shame Apple a bit after an unorthodox court ruling in the UK, but the longstanding patent war between the two still has Tim Cook’s tech giant in the lead. Sammy’s appeal over the $1 billion worth California verdict is still pending, but before hearing how that key battle will end, we’ve just got news of two much smaller battles lost by the Galaxy makers.

Two out of three claims against the iPhone 4S have been dismissed in Japan, and Samsung’s losses are that much more painful considering that this seemed like a friendly battlefield. Earlier this year, Apple had a series of accusations rejected by Judge Tamotsu Shoji, who found that no Samsung Galaxy device had infringed Apple patents related to music and video data synching.

Likewise, it seems that the Tokyo District Court rejected Samsung claims of patent infringement involving app downloads and the airplane mode used on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The first accusation was rejected in September 14 with the court finding Apple and Samsung’s app technologies different, while the second got tossed away on October 11 due to the function used on the iPhones being “an extension of past innovations”.

There’s no word on the third infringement accusation, involving a patent for home screen space use, but it is possible that there has been a ruling on that matter as well. After all, Japan courts don’t usually make all these rulings public.

So, what do these dismissals mean on a wider scale for the Samsung – Apple legal war? The easy answer would be that it’s another painful defeat in a series of ugly losses for Sammy, but that’s not exactly how things stand.

Florian Mueller from FOSS Patents has a slightly different view, saying that these are not actually defeats for Samsung, but rather “non-wins”. And we are inclined to agree with him, especially that Japan is still an open battlefield, with Apple appealing the first rulings and Samsung preparing for appeals here, too. Then again, it’s also Mueller that points out Sammy’s lack of “offensive wins” against Apple, which is the real reason for concern. Well, that, and the $1 billion that the Koreans will eventually have to cough up.

Any thoughts? Sad that Samsung is collecting losses and “non-wins”? Or just bored about the whole thing?



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