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Samsung Galaxy smartphones are banned in Europe

Apple wins a preliminary injunction
Wed Aug 24 2011, 15:36

THE FRUIT THEMED Apple has won a patent skirmish as a Dutch court ordered an EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

At Apple's request the Dutch court today issued an EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones, but not the Galaxy tablets. The ruling follows a hearing held on 10 and 11 August.

Last week, we reported that Apple was demanding that Samsung's entire line of Galaxy branded devices be banned in Europe with a recall.

This meant that what initially was Apple's request for a ban on just the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 became a broader attack on any device under the Galaxy name, including the flagship Galaxy S II.

The cappuccino company was granted a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all European countries apart from the Netherlands, stopping Samsung from selling the tablet. However that ban has since been partially lifted for countries apart from Germany.

According to the FOSSpatents blog, the latest EU-wide ban applies to countries in which one particular European software patent is valid.

The status of that patent varies between different countries but it appears to apply in the UK. While the patent was originally designated to more than 30 member countries of the European Patent Organisation, apparently there are many countries in which the application wasn't recognised as a valid patent because Apple "didn't make the necessary administrative effort and pick up the related costs".

Those countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain.

In legal terms, the order does not bind Samsung's Korean parent company, only three Samsung subsidiaries registered in the Netherlands, with respect to other countries than the Netherlands.

The FOSSpatents blog adds, "It is my understanding that Samsung's European logistics use the Netherlands as the primary hub. If Samsung's Korean parent company wants to exercise its freedom to ship into other European countries despite this injunction, it will have to reorganise its logistics chain in Europe accordingly."

The decision was due before 15 September and will take effect in mid-October, if Samsung doesn't get it stayed or reversed on appeal. µ


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