Lawsuits have been popping up all over the world, but we honestly didn’t think Apple would be able to ban Samsung from entire markets. Apple is one of the main players in the patent wars, and it seems things are starting to look bad. While the idea of banning such devices from a whole continent seems unreal, Apple has accomplished just that. Sorta.
Dutch Court has ordered Samsung be banned from selling three Galaxy devices that infringe on a single patent Apple owns. These devices are the Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II and the Samsung Galaxy Ace. This ban not only applies in the Netherlands, but these Samsung devices can’t be sold anywhere in Europe where the patent in question is recognized.
The patent at hand is number EP 2059868 and states the following: “A portable electronic device with a touch screen display for photo management is disclosed. One aspect of the invention involves a computer-implemented method in which the portable electronic device displays an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images. The device replaces the displayed array of thumbnail images with a user-selected photographic image upon detecting a user contact with a corresponding thumbnail image in the array. The user-selected photographic image is displayed at a larger scale than the corresponding thumbnail image. The portable device displays a different photographic image in replacement of the user-selected photographic image in accordance with a scrolling gesture. The scrolling gesture comprises a substantially horizontal movement of user contact with the touch screen display.”
Honestly, this does sound more or less like most Android devices we’ve used. In fact, it sounds like most smartphones around. It’s definitely sad to see one of Android’s main manufacturers banned from the European Market, but Samsung is assuring that the fight is not over. All Samsung has to do is change the way that the gallery works. According to its statement, Samsung has until October 14 to send an update fixing this patent infringement. It should all be clear after that. We shall see what happens.
A spokesperson from Samsung states:
“Today’s ruling is an affirmation that the GALAXY range of products is innovative and distinctive. 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.
Samsung has a proud history of innovation in the mobile industry. We will continue our plans to introduce new products and technologies that meet and exceed consumer expectations. And we will defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings around the world.
The ruling found no IP infringements by Samsung GALAXY Tab devices. It found that Samsung’s GALAXY S, GALAXY S II, and GALAXY Ace infringed just one of the 10 IP rights which were cited in the lawsuit.
The court ruled that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, the parent company, may not sell the cited products in the Netherlands. This does not affect Samsung Electronics’ sales in the rest of Europe.
The court ruled that Samsung’s Netherlands-based subsidiaries may not sell the cited products in the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Sweden, Switzerland until the cited single infringement is addressed.
The ruling provides a grace period until Oct. 14 to address the single infringement cited.”
What do you guys say? Is this a sign of bad things to come? Apple has already won one fight. Do you think Motorola’s patents will help Google support its manufacturers? Will we see some major changes on Samsung devices in the near future?