A court in the Netherlands has issued a preliminary injunction against Samsung smartphone sales in Europe
Samsung smartphone sales have been hit with a preliminary injunction for infringing on an Apple patent by a court in the Netherlands today.
FOSS Patents, which has been following the story, reports the injunction places a “Europe-wide” ban on the sale of Galaxy S, Galaxy S II (pictured) and Ace smartphones.
The patent in question relates to the way users cycle through pictures in the phones’ gallery and the way devices are unlocked. The decision does not come into effect until 13 October.
According to FOSS Patents, countries where it appears the ban is effective include the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. It does not apply in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
By no means over
However, Samsung said in a defiant statement emailed to eWEEK Europe UK that the ruling confirmed the Galaxy range was innovative and distinctive and that it did not believe sales outside of the Netherlands would be affected.
It said: “With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our GALAXY smartphones to Dutch consumers.
“This ruling is not expected to affect sales in other European markets.”
It added: “We will defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings around the world.”
An Apple statement sent to eWEEK Europe UK said Samsung’s latest products were similar to Apple’s iPad and iPhone in various aspects, from packaging to hardware and user interface.
“This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas,” it said.
A German court made a similar ruling on 9 August banning Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 Tablet from sale in EU member states but this was later limited to just Germany amid doubts over that court’s jurisdiction.
Apple has been pursuing a policy of patent litigation against manufacturers of Android devices as the Google-owned operating system has soared to world dominance.
It is currently engaged in lawsuits for patent infringement in America and Europe with HTC, Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.
The Apple-Samsung battle is not your typical intellectual-property battle. Even as Apple’s iPhone and iPad compete fiercely with the devices in Samsung’s portfolio, Apple remains a major purchaser of components from Samsung, which is only too happy to cash the cheques.