Netherlands Victory For Apple
November 28, 2012

Apple Wins Ban On Samsung In The Netherlands

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Apple has scored a minor victory against Samsung in the Netherlands today, as the Court of The Hague has banned the sales of some Galaxy smartphones and tablets, reports Loek Essers of the IDG News Service.

The court found that these Samsung phones had violated Apple´s patent which covers the way photographs can be scrolled and flipped through in the phone´s photo gallery. In addition to the ban, Samsung is once again being made to pay Apple damages for this infringement. The amount of these damages has not been announced, but will be determined on how much profit Samsung made from these phones.

While this is still a victory for Apple, this ban only covers a small set of products, or any Galaxy product which runs Android 2.2.1 or higher and aren´t using Samsung´s own photo gallery software.

On an iOS device, such as an iPad or iPhone, a user can scroll slightly to the left or right to catch a glimpse of the next photo in the roll. When the user lets go, the initial photo bounces back into view, giving the user a more life-like control over the way they see their photos.

Samsung had used the same technique in their earlier phones, such as the Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II and the Ace. Apple sued Samsung over this patent in a Dutch court last year and won in preliminary hearings, leading to a ban of the aforementioned devices.

Samsung changed the way their software handles these pictures, adding a “blue flash” to the edges of the photos.

During the plea hearing earlier this year, Samsung argued they have since changed the way their software flips through photos and only uses their own software in the Netherlands.

Though they claimed they had fixed the issue, Samsung could not– or would not– give proof of these changes to the court.

"It is up to Apple to show where it is and where it is not used," said Samsung´s lawyer Berghuis van Woortman during the September plea hearing.

"The argument raised by Samsung at the hearing that Samsung Benelux does not sell the infringing products any more, cannot lead to a rejection of the ban,” wrote Judge Peter Blok in today´s verdict.

Judge Blok also said he approved the ban after Samsung refused to sign a declaration of abstinence which would have committed them to not infringe on the photo flipping patent.

In order to determine how much Samsung will have to pay Apple in damages, the South Korean company will have to disclose how much net profit they made from the infringing Galaxy devices since June 27, 2011. Another court will then calculate the damages. Should Samsung continue to violate the patent, they´ll have to pay Apple an additional $129,000 every day.

The Court of the Hague has also recently found in favor of Samsung, ruling that Samsung´s Galaxy devices don´t infringe on an Apple multi-touch patent. This patent prevents users from accidentally pressing two on-screen buttons at once. The Court ruled that the technique used by Samsung was different enough from Apple´s.

"The court judges that Samsung with the trading of its Galaxy products does not infringe on EP 948," said Judge Blok late last month.

As the losing party, Apple has ordered to pay the litigation costs, totaling more than $420,000.