The mobile phone handset wars are continuing at full pace – with both Apple and Samsung claiming something of a victory following a preliminary injunction at a court in the Netherlands after Apple filed a complaint for patent infringement.
Samsung has now been banned from selling three models of its Galaxy smart phones in several European countries after Apple claimed it had copied technology it owned relating to the way photos are displayed on mobile devices – an embargo is expected to come into effect in seven weeks.
Despite the injunction seemingly falling in Apple’s favour, Samsung is claiming something of a victory as the district court in the Hague rejected several other patent issues and a claim by Apple that Samsung had stolen many of its design ideas. The ruling covers the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace models but does not prohibit sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab as mentioned in the original lawsuit.
As such, Samsung has welcomed the judgement and released a statement saying that the ruling was an “affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive”. In terms of the single infringement cited, it said it will take “all possible measures including legal action” to ensure there is no disruption in the availability of the Galaxy smart phones in Holland. It appears to believe that the ruling only affects the Netherlands and not other European markets as this is where it imports most of its goods into the European Union.
However, the interim injunction prohibits the sale of the device by three of the company’s subsidiaries in the Netherlands to the UK, France, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland. As such, the distribution model of Samsung is leading some analysts to believe that it effectively amounts to a de facto European-wide ban.
War not over?
The news is unlikely to mark the end of the battles between mobile phone handset providers as Samsung’s photo management system is also part of Google’s Android operating system. This suggests Apple may be able to take similar action against others and Google may now have to issue an urgent update to Android.
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Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash