Despite accusations that it may have altered photos of Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones to strengthen its case, Apple has succeeded in getting a Dutch court to ban the sale of three phones that it claims are too similar to the iPhone.
Missing from the ban, however, is the Galaxy Tab tablets, included in the original suit filed this month. Apple was successful this month in getting the Tab banned in Germany, despite evidence that it may have doctored evidence there as well.
Samsung was found to be infringing on an Apple patent on technologies related to a "Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management." This patent covers the various aspects of a photo gallery user interface, and the use of touchscreen gestures for navigation through it. Samsung's Galaxy S, SII, and Ace smartphones have been found to infringe on the patent, Judge E.F. Brinkman ruled.
The ban takes effect October 15 and the phones would be barred in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the Netherlands. The ruling would not be enforceable in other EU member-states because Apple failed to pay the administrative costs necessary in order to make the patent valid, tech patent blog FOSS Patents reported.
Regardless of Apple's failure to ensure its paperwork in order, it could have disruptive effects on sales across Europe. This is due to the fact that a good portion of Samsung's distribution system for the region runs through the Netherlands: in order to sell these devices, the company will now need to ship them into those countries directly.
Samsung was obviously not pleased with the ruling, and vowed to take "all possible measures including legal action" to ensure no disruption in sales of its devices in a statement.
That said, it still has options: the injunction found that Android 2.3 infringed on the patent but Android 3.0 and above did not. All the Korean electronics maker would need to do is update these phones to make the injunction non-enforceable, something Brinkman noted in his ruling.