Apple injunction upheld: Samsung Galaxy S phones banned in Europe

24 Aug 2011

A Dutch court has issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Ace across Europe, though Samsung could work around it.

FOSS Patents reports that Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain are not affected by the preliminary injunction.

This is because the injunction is related to one European software patent. The status of the patent varies from country to country and Apple didn’t pursue and complete a local registration within each one, so the patent isn’t valid in these regions.

The preliminary injunction will not have an effect until the middle of October. The decision was due on 15 September but it was granted ahead of time to allow Samsung to rearrange its European logistics.

It does not bind Samsung’s parent company in Korea, rather, it affects three of its Samsung subsidiaries registered in the Netherlands, a central European logistics hub for the company.

The injunction also does not affect its tablets, the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The case was filed last week in the Netherlands, where Apple alleged that numerous Samsung phones infringed on its own smartphone patents.

The judge rejected Apple’s other patent allegations against Samsung, along with Apple’s claim that Samsung had stolen its design ideas.

Samsung told the BBC that despite this preliminary injunction, they welcomed the ruling, saying that it was an “affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive.”

It said it would take “all possible measures including legal action” to ensure that there is no disruption to the phone’s availability in the Netherlands or across Europe.