Samsung: Galaxy Android ban does not affect whole EU

Samsung does not believe a Dutch court's decision to ban sales of its Galaxy Android smartphones will affect sales of the devices to the rest of Europe, the company said on Wednesday.The court in The Hague said that Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace handsets infringed on an Apple patent relating to photo management.

Samsung does not believe a Dutch court's decision to ban sales of its Galaxy Android smartphones will affect sales of the devices to the rest of Europe, the company said on Wednesday.

The court in The Hague said that Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace handsets infringed on an Apple patent relating to photo management. Judge Brinkman disagreed, however, that the products infringed on any other patents and design patents Apple was claiming.

Brinkman told Samsung it would face a preliminary injunction from mid-October in the Netherlands. Samsung said in response that it "will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers".

These measures are also likely to include altering the gallery application in Android 2.3, used in the three smartphones, that infringed on Apple's European patent.

Android 3.x apparently does not infringe and the judge did not ban Samsung's Galaxy tablets, which use this version. As the judge gave six weeks before the ban is to take effect, Samsung has a fair amount of time in which to dodge the ban by altering the app or upgrading the phones to Android 3.x.

"This ruling is not expected to affect sales in other European markets," Samsung added, referring to Apple's aim of cutting Samsung's supply route to Europe by attacking it in the Netherlands, the country through which it imports its goods.

This may refer to Samsung fixing the problem before the ban can take effect, but it also hints at difficulties Apple may be having with the European patent system.

Indeed, it appears that Apple failed to register the relevant patent evenly across the EU, making it unrecognised in many countries, not including the UK. It is a longstanding and elusive goal of the European Commission to introduce a proper European patent, the absence of which makes registering patents across the continent time-consuming and expensive.

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