Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Aug 2011 13:58 UTC
Legal Breaking news from my swamp home country The Netherlands: the Dutch court has just banned the sales of all Galaxy S, SII and Ace smartphones in the entire European Union. The judge has ruled that Android 2.x violates Apple's 868 patent which covers scrolling through photos on a touchscreen. Only this one patent is violated - the complaints about two other patents as well as the design patents has been thrown out. In other words, the judge did not agree with Apple that Samsung is copying Apple's design. The injunction only covers the Galaxy smartphones, since they run Android 2.x; Android 3.0 does not violate the patent in question, and hence, sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can continue. In fact, only the Gallery application violates the patent in question, and Samsung has already stated it is going to replace this application on all new Galaxy smartphones from now on - sales won't even be interrupted. In other words - two patents thrown out, design stuff rejected, and only one patent complaint upheld which will cause no harm to Samsung. Apple just scored a meaningless victory. The Dutch court order is here. The pictures speak thousands of words.
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a win for everybody (other than Apple)
by s-peter on Wed 24th Aug 2011 16:44 UTC
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While Apple may have technically scored a victory in this case, I think it is really a win for Samsung and everybody else. You may even go as far as calling it a loss for Apple, for having parts of their IP effectively invalidated, with only a small bit upheld that is apparently easily worked around. Apple may have forgotten that the most effective way to fight using IP is FUD (as in "We have a lot of patents so you must infringe on some of them"), and that there is a reason why tech companies, while holding large patent portfolios, usually refrain from actual litigation regarding those patents. It seems to me that they shot themselves in the foot by suing Samsung and ends up with less rather than more. And I haven't even mentioned the publicity effect it made for Samsung.

Ideally, meaningless patent/design applications would be rejected by the registration offices, not invalidated by the courts after registration. While I find it unfortunate that it has to be decided this way, I'm glad that at least a little bit of meaningless IP is invalidated. I hope that this decision will encourage market players to focus on developing better products rather than trying to hinder competitors by litigation.

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