News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday August 24, 2011.
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Samsung has just been dealt a blow by a Netherlands court in its ongoing battle with Apple over trade dress and design patents, as the court has banned the sale of its Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Ace smartphones in the European Union by Samsung's Dutch subsidiaries because of patent violations. Curiously, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet has been spared from this particular injunction.
The injunction refers to a specific patent that the Galaxy smartphones violate, and it can be enforced in some, but not all European countries. The countries that Samsung has dodged a bullet in include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain, thanks to Apple's failure to register the patent properly in those countries. Additionally, the block on the sale of the smartphones only applies to Samsung's Netherlands subsidiaries, not to the Korean company as a whole. Samsung does most of its European distribution through the Netherlands, however, so this will cause a significant shakeup in the flow of Galaxy smartphones in Europe.
The decision handed down by the courts is due to go into effect in mid-October, which gives Samsung time to rearrange its distribution network. The patent in question applies to the photo galleries in Android, so Samsung may be able to work around it with a software update. Apple has also accused Samsung of violating other patents related to scrolling and unlocking the phone, though the court did not include them in this injunction. [via FOSS Patents and BGR]
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.