Samsung has suffered a setback in its patent infringement dispute with Apple in Germany, with a court today rejecting one of its claims.

Samsung filed three patent infringement claims with the court in Mannheim in April, adding four more in December. Today's ruling only applies to one allegation of patent infringement and the German court has yet to decide on the others.

"We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany. It should be noted that today's ruling relates to only one of several patents asserted by Samsung in the Mannheim court," said Nam Ki-yung, a spokesman for Samsung. 

The firm has said that it has not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling.

Meanwhile, Apple is counter-suing Samsung in Germany, filing another lawsuit against the company earlier this week. Apple's new suit is aimed at 10 handsets in Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones. 

The same court in Dusseldorf where the new action has been filed blocked German sales of the original version of Samsung's 10-inch Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in September last year, after Apple argued that Samsung's product looked too much like the iPad. To circumvent that ruling, Samsung modified the appearance of the tablet to create the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

Apple still felt Samsung was mimicking the design of its hit tablet and filed a motion to block the 10.1N, as well. But in December a judge issued a preliminary ruling that the Samsung tablet no longer violated Apple's European design patent.