A Dutch court has issued Apple a preliminary injunction that prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones in the Netherlands. This injunction has the potential to spread across the European Union. FOSS Patents has a copy of the official court order, and it states that the injunction will go into effect in mid-October.
The order, which was issued by the Rechtbank’s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court located in The Hauge), only applies to Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, including the widely successful Galaxy S II. That means that it won’t have any effect on the sales of Samsung’s tablets.
This is an important injunction because Samsung’s primary European logistics hub is located in the Netherlands. That means that in order to ship these devices throughout Europe, Samsung would have to reroute its operations. That’s unlikely, however, due to Samsung Korea’s lack of infrastructure. It would be logistically impossible for Samsung to respond in a timely manner.
The injunction is specifically based on the infringement of one patent in Apple’s portfolio. That patent is regarding the way you navigate photos in a gallery app, not the touted square based app organization design. This means that this injunction could be upheld in the countries where that patent is valid across the E.U. Unfortunately for Apple, documentation shows that they have allowed this patent to lapse in many countries, meaning it may not have much hold.
This comes on the backs of a previous injunction from a German court temporarily banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab in Europe. That injunction was lifted shortly after it was issued, however. It is possible that this new court order could suffer the same fate.