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iPhone 4S to launch in Italy without Samsung ban

The legal effort to keep Apple's iPhone 4S from being sold in Italy when it launches later this month has been put off by a judge. A decision in the matter could come in a hearing in December, after the 4S launch.

Apple's iPhone 4S, which has the clear to be sold in Italy, for now.
Apple's iPhone 4S, which has the clear to be sold in Italy, for now.

Samsung's campaign to keep Apple's iPhone 4S from being sold in Europe has hit a roadblock, with an Italian judge putting off making a decision until after well after the device launches in the country.

Italian news outlet Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI) today reported that Milan judges denied a request from Samsung filed earlier this month to keep Apple's iPhone 4S from being sold in the country, however no ruling has been made. Instead, Apple and Samsung were given extra time to provide the court with information ahead of an additional hearing that will take place December 16.

Apple plans to sell the iPhone 4S in Italy by the end of this month as part of a launch that includes 21 other countries.

The delay came during a hearing on the complaint, which was filed just a day after Apple's latest iPhone was announced and accuses Apple of infringing on two of its patents related to wireless technology.

"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the legal effort earlier this month. "We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation."

A Samsung Telecommunications America spokesman declined to comment on the hearing, and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Samsung's two complaints, which were filed in France and Italy, take aim at Apple's use of Wideband Code Division Multiple Access standards, which Samsung holds patents for. "The infringed technology is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple's violation (is) too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales," the company wrote at the time.

The spat is just a part of a larger battle between the two companies in courts around the world. The dispute was kicked off with a U.S. lawsuit filed by Apple against Samsung in April that said Samsung was violating its intellectual property in the design of its mobile devices, specifically the Galaxy series smartphones and tablets. Samsung later countersued against Apple, saying the company was infringing on multiple patents.

(via PC Mag)

Corrected at 7:40 p.m. PT to note that no rulings were made in today's hearing. This report previously suggested Samsung's efforts to keep the iPhone 4S from being sold in Italy were temporarily denied.