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French court denies Samsung's request for iPhone 4S ban

A French court has denied Samsung's request for a preliminary injunction against Apple's iPhone 4S as part of the worldwide, ongoing patent disputes between the two companies. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents has a lengthy, in-depth analysis of the court's decision, but essentially Samsung's case against Apple was far to weak to justify the "disproportionate" step of banning the iPhone 4S from France. Samsung has also been ordered to reimburse Apple for €100,000 in legal fees, which Mueller notes is probably far lower than what Apple has actually spent during French litigation.

The ongoing patent dispute has now expanded to "more than 30 lawsuits in a minimum of 12 courts in at least 9 countries on 4 continents" according to Mueller, and so far Apple has been the only litigant to succeed in its bid for an injunction against its competitor (although the Australian injunction was later overturned, pending appeal).

Apple fired the opening salvo in this patent war back in April, and Samsung has responded with a variety of countersuits. Apple alleges that Samsung has slavishly copied the design of both the iPhone and the iPad.

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