Dutch court ruling could pull Samsung's Galaxy S II from sale across Europe

Firm has 7 weeks to reorganise logistical network

Dutch court ruling could pull Samsung's Galaxy S II from sale across Europe
Though not quite as dramatic an event as it might first sound, Samsung has been handed a seven week deadline in order to prevent its multi-million selling Galaxy S II handset from being pulled from sale across Europe.

The ruling has been made by a Dutch court in The Hague, which has served a preliminary injunction against the sale of Samsung's Galaxy S and Ace branded handsets as a result of a complaint by Apple.

Owing to the belief Samsung uses the Netherlands as its logistical hub for the entire European market, this means 32 countries in all will be pulled into the injunction, including the likes of the UK, France and Germany.

Eye on Europe

Apple's complaint to the Dutch court was similar to the one recently served by the firm in Germany, but with the addition of three technical patents it's believed are tied to the Android platform in some form – one of which is cited in this ruling.

As IP activist Florian Mueller points out on his blog Foss Patents, Samsung has plenty of time to react to the ruling – itself made more than three weeks early – but it nonetheless hands Apple its first solid victory against Android OEMs.

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

"However, 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."

Action against Android

Whatever Samsung's reaction, it might not be the only manufacturer to suffer.

"Regardless of how Samsung may be able to work around this decision in Europe, it's a severe blow for Android," Mueller concludes.

"In all likelihood, the winning patent is infringed by Android itself - maybe not the operating system per se, but by one or more of the applications that ship with Android and without which the usefulness of Android would be impaired.

"Apple now has the first enforceable court decision in its hand that finds Android to infringe an Apple patent."

[source: Foss Patents]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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