Apple defends against 3G Samsung patent claim in Germany, fires back with slide-to-unlock lawsuit
Samsung was hoping to nail Apple for 3G patent infringement in Germany, but a judge has already tossed one of them out the window. Six other patents are still being investigated, but details on that particular case are skimpy for now. Apple has in the same breath shot back at Samsung for infringing on a slide-to-unlock patent with the Galaxy Nexus. Apple had pulled out this patent against HTC two years ago, though it doesn't look like they won on that particular front.
Germany has been a bit of a hotbed for mobile patent cases lately. Apple has most recently attacked Samsung for design infringement on ten phones, and previously earned an injuction against Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales. Of course, Apple isn't winning all of their fights in Germany; Motorola recently won a case against Apple for 3G patents.
It's a messy web of companies suing and counter-suing over arguably broad claims to intellectual property. Rarely do these episodes conclude with the dramatic import bans that are initially threatened, and that's a good thing - we would probably have way fewer phones to play with if these lawsuits ended without some kind of compromise.