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Samsung Galaxy smartphones banned from sale in Europe in Apple suit

post #1 of 103
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A Netherlands judge ruled on Wednesday that Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones are in violation of Apple patents, and ordered an injunction against sales of the devices across the European Union.

The preliminary injunction came from a Dutch Court in the city of The Hague, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. The ruling applies to Samsung smartphones, but not to the Galaxy tablets, and is set to take effect in seven weeks, or around mid-October.

The ruling reportedly applies to countries where one European software patent, entitled "Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management," is valid. It is unclear in what countries across Europe the application became a valid patent.

"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 wrote.

"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 reorganize its logistics chain in Europe accordingly."

Wednesday's decision is yet another key legal victory for Apple in its ongoing patent dispute with Samsung. That success began just a few weeks ago, when a judge in Australia ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is in violation of Apple's patents.



Soon after, a German court separately also found that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes on patents related to Apple's iPad. Sales of the Samsung touchscreen tablet were initially banned across Europe, but later revised to only apply to Germany.

Wednesday's decision represents the first major success Apple has had against the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones, however. The Cupertino, Calif., company first sued Samsung in April, accusing its rival of copying the look and feel of both the iPhone and iPad.
post #2 of 103
What if Galaxy phones became the new Coors and were highly coveted as irresistable forbidden contraband delivered by smugglers?
post #3 of 103
No reason for Samsung to continue to do this. They just need to make peace with Apple and tweak their designs a bit. Samsung should never have let it go this far.
post #4 of 103
Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

What if Galaxy phones became the new Coors and were highly coveted as irresistable forbidden contraband delivered by smugglers?

I would feel sorry for the people who would spend big $$$ on contraband galaxy phones...
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post #6 of 103
Before everyone get overly excited, the Court threw out all of Apple's claims that Samsung had slavishly copied its designs and instead agreed on one patent violation dealing with photo viewing/scrolling.

Meaning, Samsung could possibly reverse the ban by issuing a software update rectifying the Gallery issue. Not sure about the Tab but I guess the claims would have been rejected as well.
post #7 of 103
This will probably get reversed by the end of the week but it's important flesh would to Samsung's case nonetheless


Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?

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post #8 of 103
I was a bit surprised to see only a single Apple patent claim validated, and an odd one at that. It may be that Samsung doesn't have as much to worry about as was surmised by many bloggers and forum posters. While technically a win for Apple, it's not on the scale that I might have guessed.
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post #9 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

What if Galaxy phones became the new Coors and were highly coveted as irresistable forbidden contraband delivered by smugglers?

Funny.

The idea that Europeans would "crave and covet" watery American (so-called) beer is about as likely as them craving a Galaxy phone I guess. Maybe ex-pat Americans would be interested?
post #10 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?

I'm sure the Ferengi are already selling them to unsuspecting Klingons at the Farpoint bar.
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post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

No reason for Samsung to continue to do this. They just need to make peace with Apple and tweak their designs a bit. Samsung should never have let it go this far.

Yeah, that's what's so stupid about this whole thing. They only have to back down a tiny bit and they are good.

I think it's all about face-saving or something.
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?

post #13 of 103
A few pointers:

-The swipe to unlock patent was considered invalid by the judge due to prior art if I read the ruling correctly.

-Samsung does not infringe any of the design patents with the tabs or phones.

-They have already stated that they will change the gallery app (the one patent that they did infringe upon with their phones only) in time for the ban.

Also the gallery app is the vanilla android one, so google better get that thing updated.
post #14 of 103
The judge rejected the design claims - only the patent related to using swiping gestures to switch between photos in a gallery application was granted.
post #15 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?

So Samsung's "exhibit A" of 'futuristic devices' from the movie '2001: A Space Odyssey' didn't help them to win their argument.

So I guess you can say they... Lost in Space!

So when Samsung see's apples, their high tech warning system will go off, spouting "Danger!, Danger!"



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post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleDroid View Post

Before everyone get overly excited, the Court threw out all of Apple's claims that Samsung had slavishly copied its designs and instead agreed on one patent violation dealing with photo viewing/scrolling.

Meaning, Samsung could possibly reverse the ban by issuing a software update rectifying the Gallery issue. Not sure about the Tab but I guess the claims would have been rejected as well.

That would make so much sense! A software update and the suit goes away.....

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post #17 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

That would make so much sense! A software update and the suit goes away.....

The software update that returns Android to the pre iPhone rip off might ... but then they'd need a trendy BB style pull out keyboard
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post #18 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleDroid View Post

Before everyone get overly excited, the Court threw out all of Apple's claims that Samsung had slavishly copied its designs and instead agreed on one patent violation dealing with photo viewing/scrolling.

The filing was for an injunction to prevent sales until the full court case. The court ruled that they didn't see cause for a ban on trade dress (basically saying that don't agree it is obviously a copy) but there is cause on the patent issue. A patent that specifies only phones so the devil is in the details.

I'm a tad surprised that EU rules push start dates out like they do. Then again if Samsung loses Apple can always request a per unit sold damage on top of whatever else and might get it making the issue a wash. At the same time, the required damages for he injunction would be less if Samsung wins since the tablet is out of the equation as well as some part of the phone sales.

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post #19 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleDroid View Post

Before everyone get overly excited, the Court threw out all of Apple's claims that Samsung had slavishly copied its designs and instead agreed on one patent violation dealing with photo viewing/scrolling.

Meaning, Samsung could possibly reverse the ban by issuing a software update rectifying the Gallery issue. Not sure about the Tab but I guess the claims would have been rejected as well.

Exactly. How anybody can interpret this as a huge victory of Apple. Most of their patent claims were just invalidated. The only remaining issue can be fixed by simple software update. This needs a quite bit of fanboism to be seen as anything that favors Apple's litigation machine.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The ruling reportedly applies to countries where one European software patent, entitled "Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management," is valid

The best they can do is a patent on photo management? If this is all they can hold against the competition's devices, then they do not have much to stand on!

Kind of sad.
post #21 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Anybody know a Sci-Fi movie to help Sammy out on this one?

"Spaceballs"?
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post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

The filing was for an injunction to prevent sales until the full court case. The court ruled that they didn't see cause for a ban on trade dress (basically saying that don't agree it is obviously a copy) but there is cause on the patent issue. A patent that specifies only phones so the devil is in the details.

There's obviously a misunderstanding of issues here.

This was a preliminary injunction hearing. The court ruled that there wasn't sufficient evidence to award a preliminary injunction on the basis of trade dress - but that simply says it wasn't a slam-dunk. They court could still believe that Apple has a good chance to prevail, but not enough to award an injunction. Some judges just don't like to award preliminary injunctions unless there's absolutely no question at all about the facts. It is also not unheard of for a judge to award the preliminary injunction on the basis of narrow grounds rather than using all the grounds at their disposal.

Basically, it doesn't mean that Samsung won. It simply means that Apple didn't prove that they were so guilty that the court didn't need to have a full trial to determine whether to stop the sale of their products.

Furthermore, it really doesn't matter at this point. Samsung can not sell those phones. There's really not much point in reading more into it than that.
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post #23 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Furthermore, it really doesn't matter at this point. Samsung can not sell those phones. There's really not much point in reading more into it than that.

It doesn't ban the sale of the devices at all. It simply creates a logistics issue that Samsung will have to figure out in the next 7 weeks according to new reports. And even if nothing changed, there's several countries in the EU that the ruling won't apply to anyway since they've never recognized the validity of the single Apple patent validated so far.
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post #24 of 103
The photo viewer issue the judge ruled on in this case applies to all android models. Does anyone know if samsung can make the changes itself or do they need google to do it?
post #25 of 103
More evidence the patent system is broken. If we are being honst, the photo viewing patent is pretty minor compared with the overall complexity of a smartphone but it still gets the entire device banned.
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It doesn't ban the sale of the devices at all. It simply creates a logistics issue that Samsung will have to figure out in the next 7 weeks according to new reports. And even if nothing changed, there's several countries in the EU that the ruling won't apply to anyway since they've never recognized the validity of the single Apple patent validated so far.

I'm not sure you fully understand the implication of the term "logistics issue". That means Sam has to find another port city and distribution center to ship their phones to. Before you say "just go rent another warehouse somewhere" think about it. They have to find another place to distribute their phones to the rest of Europe, i.e. spend more money to duplicate something they already have spent money on.

Everybody's all excited about whether Apple prevailed, slam dunk blah blah blah. But Apple got what it wanted. Sam can't sell or distribute into Europe from The Netherlands. A very shrewd and well-executed move on Apple's part, from where I'm standing.
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It doesn't ban the sale of the devices at all. It simply creates a logistics issue that Samsung will have to figure out in the next 7 weeks according to new reports. And even if nothing changed, there's several countries in the EU that the ruling won't apply to anyway since they've never recognized the validity of the single Apple patent validated so far.

It's not simply a logistics issue. The judge banned the import of those phones.
post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

"Spaceballs"?

"Oh s*it. There goes the planet."

"Even in the future nothing works!"

I luv Spaceballs zingers!.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094012/quotes
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post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Funny.

The idea that Europeans would "crave and covet" watery American (so-called) beer is about as likely as them craving a Galaxy phone I guess. Maybe ex-pat Americans would be interested?

European beer tastes have absolutely nothing to do with his point, which seems to have flown well over your head.

Coors used to be sold only West of the Mississippi River (which is a large river in the USA nearly bisecting the country). As a result, and despite its poor quality, it used to be "smuggled" back east by enterprising individuals who resold it at premium prices.

Now does it all make sense? No thanks needed for the reality tutorials. I enjoy your posts.
post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

European beer tastes have absolutely nothing to do with his point, which seems to have flown well over your head.

Coors used to be sold only West of the Mississippi River (which is a large river in the USA nearly bisecting the country). As a result, and despite its poor quality, it used to be "smuggled" back east by enterprising individuals who resold it at premium prices.

Now does it all make sense? No thanks needed for the reality tutorials. I enjoy your posts.

By the way it was written, I thought he was implying that there was a great underground desire for Coors in Europe. I can see how what I said makes no sense if that's not what was meant.
post #31 of 103
In addition to the (strong?) possibility of lifting of the ban, Apple also runs the risk of compensating Samsung for losses incurred in the event the final ruling goes against them. Of course, if it goes against Samsung, then the Android phone vendor with the strongest momentum would be castrated, cut off at the knees and beheaded, all at once.

Fascinating high stakes poker!!
post #32 of 103
As I see it, Apple has to win in two courts here - one is the court of law and the other is the court of public opinion. In my humble opinion, Apple will will lose in the court of public opinion and will at best, get a stalemate in the court of law.

As to public opinion, unless you're a complete honk for Apple Inc, any reasonable person can see that an Android devices are sufficiently different from an iPhone or iPad. Whether or not they are better is debatable, but nobody can use an Android device and confuse it with an iPhone or iPad. As such, in the court of public opinion, Apple will increasingly be seen as the 800 lb guerrilla that's attempting to stifle competition through litigation.

In the court of law, it comes down to multitudes of patents and considering how many patents are involved, who owns them, and the inherent technical complexity, it's safe to assume that the courts will make rulings for and against Apple in the coming years. When it comes to the patent wars, the only sure winners will be the lawyers and even if Apple wins some skirmishes, they will lose in the court of public opinion and that could be disastrous if Apple neglects to keep trumping with the competition with new innovations.
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

I'm not sure you fully understand the implication of the term "logistics issue". That means Sam has to find another port city and distribution center to ship their phones to.

No, I do understand the initial judgement as it's been explained so far. They cannot continue to import those phones thru the Amsterdam port beginning 7 weeks from now. Additionally the distribution ban applies only to certain countries that recognize the validity of the single patent that Samsung may eventually be found to infringe. It's not "all of Europe". What no one really knows yet, as far as I know, is how difficult it will be to replace the entry point, nor the expense of doing so. It may not be worth the expense to Samsung. Or it might be a relative pittance.

Within a few days I'm sure we'll see more detail about what's going to be done on Samsung's part, and what the real-life effect of this is. I don't think it's at all clear yet who is winning at this point.
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post #34 of 103
This is actually a big loss for Apple.

The court made null all of Apple's argument against Android as a whole. The bigger patents of multi touch GUI interface have been declared NULL and can not be used against others in the future.

All Samsung has to do is update the minor Gallery UI with an accelerometer ( of which Touch Whiz 4.0 uses already in side scrolling application home screens).

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post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Exactly. How anybody can interpret this as a huge victory of Apple. Most of their patent claims were just invalidated. The only remaining issue can be fixed by simple software update. This needs a quite bit of fanboism to be seen as anything that favors Apple's litigation machine.

Wrong. The court said that there was not sufficient evidence to issue a preliminary injunction baring the import of the products based on those patents.

The validity of the patents has not been decided upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It doesn't ban the sale of the devices at all. It simply creates a logistics issue that Samsung will have to figure out in the next 7 weeks according to new reports. And even if nothing changed, there's several countries in the EU that the ruling won't apply to anyway since they've never recognized the validity of the single Apple patent validated so far.

That's wrong. The decision bans the import and sale of the devices to the Netherlands (which is where Samsung imports all of its European devices). Furthermore, the strength of the ruling also probably bans the import of the devices to any of the other European countries where Apple has the same patent. They CAN import the products into countries which are not covered by the patent (although Apple can just as easily file for injunctions in those countries, as well).
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post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Wrong. The court said that there was not sufficient evidence to issue a preliminary injunction baring the import of the products based on those patents.

The validity of the patents has not been decided upon.



That's wrong. The decision bans the import and sale of the devices to the Netherlands (which is where Samsung imports all of its European devices). Furthermore, the strength of the ruling also probably bans the import of the devices to any of the other European countries where Apple has the same patent. They CAN import the products into countries which are not covered by the patent (although Apple can just as easily file for injunctions in those countries, as well).

You've misunderstood a couple of points according to news outlets. Read the BBC story here for details on what the court order actually accomplishes.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14652482
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post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You've misunderstood a couple of points according to news outlets. Read the BBC story here for details on what the court order actually accomplishes.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14652482

He is correct that there have been no invalidations. However, the patents were already thoroughly examined by the judge and on several occasions in the court order the judge states that the outcome of the 'real' suit (the one which takes ages) will likely be the same.

The judge also specifically states the the swipe-to-unlock patent has a very good chance of being invalidated in the follow-up suit due to prior art (Neonode n1m).

Basically all samsung has to do (and they already stated they will) is change the gallery app. Other manufacturers will have to do the same though, hopefully google quickly changes it at the source.
post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

This is actually a big loss for Apple.

The court made null all of Apple's argument against Android as a whole. The bigger patents of multi touch GUI interface have been declared NULL and can not be used against others in the future.

As already stated above, the other patent breach claims were not strong enough for a judge to decide he did not need a full trial. In other words, Samsung may still be in breach of those, just not so obviously that the judge can decide without a full trial.

"Breach not 100% obvious" does not mean "No breach"

I think that design copying would generally be so 'soft' that they are seldomly decided without a full trial.

Still, for those who thought the copying was obvious on all fronts, the ruling will be a disappointment.
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

European beer tastes have absolutely nothing to do with his point, which seems to have flown well over your head.

Coors used to be sold only West of the Mississippi River (which is a large river in the USA nearly bisecting the country). As a result, and despite its poor quality, it used to be "smuggled" back east by enterprising individuals who resold it at premium prices.

Now does it all make sense? No thanks needed for the reality tutorials. I enjoy your posts.

I knew about the history of Coors but I still found the response funny.

The Coors analogy is pretty apt in other ways though: Coors is a watered down attempt to recreate a pale lager -- Samsung Galaxy is a skin deep attempt to recreate an iPhone.
 
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post #40 of 103
I am glad the Look and feel crap was more or less ruled invalid at this point. ( Yea they have a shot in court, but it is slim after this preliminary ruling and will take years in the courts.... ). The Gallery is very easy to change. There are already several other free options that you can replace the system gallery app with now that would not violate the patent in question. I replaced mine a long time ago, because the built in one sux....

I would think Samsung could have a patch up in a couple of weeks that would take care of this issue. They would definitely not need Google's assistance to do it....
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