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Samsung loses bid to ban iPhone 4S in France

A French court denies Samsung's request, calling the effort to put a stop to sales of the Apple gadget "disproportionate."

The iPhone 4S won't be banned in France.
The iPhone 4S won't be banned in France.

Another day, another ruling in the ongoing Samsung-Apple saga.

This time, French court Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris has denied Samsung's request to ban the iPhone 4S within France. According to Le Figaro newspaper reporter Benjamin Ferran, who was in attendance at the hearing, the judge called Samsung's request "disproportionate." The judge also ordered Samsung to pay 100,000 euros ($134,000) for Apple's legal fees.

"The Paris Court of First Instance has denied Samsung's preliminary injunction request," a Samsung representative told CNET in a statement. "We will review the written grounds of today's judgment, and continue to take all available options to assert our intellectual property rights to stop this free riding on our technology."

Foss Patents was the first to report on the news.

Samsung's latest loss extends a streak for both companies as each tries (seemingly in vain) to win a definitive ruling against the other. Just last week, a U.S. District Court judge struck down Apple's bid to have Samsung smartphones and tablets banned for sale in the U.S., saying that the products aren't hurting iPhone and iPad sales enough to justify an injunction.

Elsewhere around the world, Apple has found varying degrees of success. In Australia and Germany, for example, the company has been able to win temporary sales bans on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple has also won a court battle in the Netherlands. However, the company has been unable to deal the death blow to Samsung anywhere in the world.

Samsung is having a more difficult time pleading its case. The company has argued in several continents that the iPhone 4S violates patents it holds, but so far, it hasn't been able to score a victory. In Australia, the company's case won't even be heard until March, effectively allowing Apple to capitalize on the busy holiday-shopping season without fear of its smartphone being whisked off store shelves.

Surprisingly, the South Korea-based Samsung is so far unwilling to bring its case against the iPhone 4S to that country. The company told Korean news outlet The Chosunilbo last month that it had decided to "engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea."

Next up for Samsung is Italy. A court in Milan will be holding a hearing next week on why Samsung believes the iPhone 4S should be banned for sale from that country. But given Apple's success so far with Samsung's iPhone 4S complaints, the company might be fighting a losing battle. Just don't tell Samsung that.

"Over many years, Samsung has pioneered the development of technologies and protocols for the efficient and reliable functioning of telecommunications networks and devices," a company representative told CNET. "While Samsung has at all times met its obligations to the fair licensing of its telecommunications standards-related patents, Apple has infringed by using without license Samsung's intellectual property in its iPhone 4S and other devices."

Even so, Samsung is still beating Apple at retail. During the third quarter, Samsung sold 23.6 million smartphones worldwide, nabbing 20 percent of that market, according to data compiled by IDC. Apple shipped 17.1 million iPhones, securing 14.5 percent of the space.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the French court's ruling.

Update 9:18 a.m PT to include Samsung statement.