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Apple signs truce with Google, but Samsung still in its crosshairs

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The legal truce between Apple and Google does not take the pressure off South Korea-based Samsung, which has been a prime legal target for the maker of iPhones and iPads.

A Japanese court ruled earlier that Samsung could seek minimal damages from Apple for patent infringement, with both sides claiming victory in the their latest legal skirmish over the design of their smartphones.

Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court ruled that Samsung could claim 9.96 million yen ( $98,000) from its US arch-rival for use of Samsung’s data transmission technology, found to have been used in Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Early this month in Silicon Valley, jurors at a different patent trial held the line on its USD 119.6 million damages award to Apple in a patent battle with Samsung.

While the amount of the award is huge, it is only a fraction of the more than USD 2 billion Apple had sought at the outset of the trial against is South Korean competitor in the hot smartphone and tablet computer market.

Jurors agreed that Samsung violated three of five Apple patents at issue in the two-month trial.

Jurors also found that Apple violated a Samsung patent and said Apple should pay its rival USD 158,400 in damages.

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