AN ANDROID UPDATE to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones should protect the Korean firm from a preliminary injunction issued by a Dutch court at Apple's request.
Yesterday The INQUIRER reported that Apple had won an injunction barring Samsung from selling some of its Galaxy smartphones in Europe.
However, it is likely that an update from Android 2.1 to Android 2.3 will resolve the patent issue, which concerns the way photos are viewed on a touchscreen.
According to OS news, only the Gallery application infringes the patent in question, and Samsung has confirmed it will update the software to get around the problem.
"The injunction has been granted due to the method of scrolling in the Gallery. If that's replaced, there is no more reason to uphold the injunction," said Bas Berghuis van Woortman, one of Samsung's lawyers.
The injunction doesn't come into effect until mid-October, giving the Korean phone maker plenty of time to change the software.
OS news points to evidence showing that although Apple entered into battle with three patents and a community design, all but the Gallery patent were thrown out by the judge.
The swipe-to-unlock patent will likely be declared invalid, the judge wrote, specifically referring to the Neonode N1m mobile phone as prior art, which has the exact same unlock method as the Iphone.
Apple's complaint about the design of Galaxy smartphones was also thrown out, with the judge citing numerous cases of prior art, including the LG Prada. And in the case of the Android GUI patent, the judge cited the Nokia 7710 as prior art.
Although Samsung's PR firm in the UK hadn't heard anything about an Android update, Samsung said that it expects only the Netherlands to be affected by the ruling. It said, "[The] 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. 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."
So it seems that this time Apple ended up going one for four, and that one 'win' appears to be meaningless. Ouch. µ
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