iPhone 5 Japan

A Japanese court Tuesday denied an appeal by Apple over the iPhone maker’s arguments Samsung infringed a patent. The Tokyo-based Intellectual High Court agreed with an earlier court ruling which found the South Korean firm had not infringed upon Apple’s patent on syncing data with smartphones and tablets.

The appeal rejection comes just a week after another Tokyo court handed Apple a patent-infringement victory against Samsung. In that case, Apple used its separate “rubber band” patent to successfully claim earlier models of the Galaxy smartphone were at fault. Japan is one of the few markets where Apple leads its rival in both tablet and smartphone sales…

“The world’s two biggest smartphone makers have each scored victories in patent disputes fought on four continents since Apple accused Samsung of ‘slavishly’ copying its devices,” Bloomberg reports. Samsung welcomed today’s decision while Apple’s Tokyo representative did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.

The patent-infringement case has a long history, an original ruling made by the Tokyo District Court in August 2012. Apple appealed the ruling in October.

According to patent guru Florian Mueller, Japan has become a favorite legal battleground for the two competitors. Tokyo’s involvement stretches back to 2011, taking one of the first Apple patent lawsuits. “Samsung has seen little success in the country,” Mueller writes.