Samsung expands German patent row with Apple

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Samsung expands German patent row with Apple

Emoticon patent, three others asserted.

Samsung has filed four new patent claims against Apple in a German court as the patent war between the rival electronics giants continues.

The new patents lead to a total seven patents the South Korean manufacturer is now asserting against Apple in Germany.

Three patent claims already in suit since April will face judgment on March 2 next year, while the new claims will be heard separately.

Apple has also claimed six patents against Samsung in separate cases in Germany.

In court documents filed this week, Samsung alleged Apple had infringed on new patents including two communications patents, a text-to-speech patent and one relating to use of emoticons on a smartphone.

The first two patents are deemed vital to the 3G telecommunications standard by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and must be licensed to rival carriers and smartphone makers under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, or FRAND.

The issue, which comes under French jurisidiction, has come up during multiples cases between Apple and Samsung around the world. The European Commission has confirmed it is investigating the issue, though judges in Europe are currently split on whether to allow those claims.

Samsung won a round of its bruising global patent fight when an Australian court lifted a ban on the sale of its Galaxy table computer earlier in December.

The two parties are set to face a directions hearing in Sydney today to determine future handling of the case.

But the South Korean tech giant's victory was tempered by a setback the previous day in Paris, where another court turned down its bid to block sales of Apple's iPhone 4S in France.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Matt Driskill)

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