A judge at the High Court has dismissed a law suit from Apple that alleged rival HTC infringed on its patents.
The iPhone maker claimed HTC had copied several technologies that Apple owned the rights to, including solutions for multi-touch input, gesture unlocking and the 'bounce' functionality when a user cannot drag an image any further.
However, the judge ruled HTC did not infringe Apple's patents, noting features such as slide-to-unlock are 'obvious' developments for the industry.
He added several of the technologies Apple has claimed on were not protected as they had already been used on other devices and therefore rejected the US firm's claim to the innovations.
The outcome was welcomed by HTC, which said the decision "provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit".
"We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace," the Taiwanese company continued.
The dispute in the High Court between Apple and HTC is just one of many patent cases that competing mobile phone and tablet manufacturers have brought against each other in courts around the world in recent months.
Last month, Apple was successful in a bid to block the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US, while Google's forthcoming Nexus smartphone - which is also manufactured by Samsung - was taken off sale in the US after a court agreed it breached several of Apple's patents, including the swipe-to-unlock technology.
However, analysts have suggested Apple's defeat in the UK courts could have significant implications for the industry's ongoing 'patent wars'.
Peter Bell, senior associate in the intellectual property team at law firm Stevens & Bolton LLP, told TechRadar it will have ramifications throughout Europe, as similar cases involving Apple, HTC, Samsung and Motorola are taking place in Germany and the Netherlands.
While this is unlikely to be the end of the case, as Apple is expected to appeal, the expert said other vendors will be watching carefully.
"Provided the judgment is upheld on appeal, all mobile phone manufacturers will be free to implement the features that were protected by the patents," Mr Bell said.
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