Dutch Court Temporarily Halts Sales of Samsung Galaxy Phones in Europe

Sales of Galaxy Smartphones Temporarily Halted

by Anton Shilov
08/24/2011 | 03:46 PM

A Dutch court in the city of Hague on Wednesday issued a formally Europe-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones due to accusations of Apple of infringements of patents. Interestingly, but the court did not order to halt sales of Galaxy-branded tablets.


Apple, claimed that Samsung had infringed on three of its patents. The court ruled that Samsung smartphones Galaxy S, S II and Ace breached just one of Apple's patents. The Apple patent allows for a certain method of scrolling or browsing through photos in some Samsung smartphones, the court added, reports Reuters news-agency.

The injunction relates to the current version of those devices but would not cover future releases that may be designed in ways that don't infringe this particular patent, according to Foss Patents. The status of that patent varies between different countries as this list shows. While the patent was originally designated to more than 30 member countries of the European Patent Organization (which is not an EU organization and also includes non-EU members such as Switzerland), there are many countries in which the application wasn't turned into a valid patent because Apple didn't make the necessary administrative effort and pick up the related costs.

This relates to countries in which one particular European software patent (EP 2059868) is valid. Formally it's a "device" patent, but it doesn't represent any innovation on the hardware side, so the nature of the invention is that of a software patent the way I define that term.

Samsung said in a statement that its affiliates in the Netherlands were not allowed to sell the smartphones in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Sweden and Switzerland until the patent violation was resolved.

However, it said the ruling was not expected to affect sales in European markets other than the Netherlands.

"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," the official statement by Samsung reads.