Apple Strikes Another Blow Against Samsung
Another victory for Apple in its ongoing patent battle with Samsung.
A Dutch court has ordered an injunction against sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones across the European Union, after determining the devices violate an Apple software patent entitled “Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management.”
The order, which applies in the Netherlands and any EU country where the patent is registered, will take effect in seven weeks — sometime in mid-October. And when it does, it could prove a logistical nightmare for Samsung, which moves a lot of its European merchandise through the port of Rotterdam.
Doesn’t bode well for Google’s Android OS, either.
“Regardless of how Samsung may be able to work around this decision in Europe, it’s a severe blow for Android,” Florian Mueller writes over at FOSS Patents. “In all likelihood, the winning patent is infringed by Android itself — probably not the operating system per se, but by one or more of the applications that ship with Android and without which the usefulness of Android would be impaired in one particular area (photo viewing). Apple now has the first enforceable court decision in its hand (out of many lawsuits going on around the world) that finds Android to infringe an Apple patent.”
Samsung, for its part, doesn’t seem too worried about the ruling or the embargo, which it is evidently prepared to work around.
“Today’s ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive,” the company said in a statement. “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.”