Samsung Galaxy S, S II and Ace: Banned by The Hague
The Apple / Samsung legal battle has hit a new twist with the news that The Rechtbank's-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) has issued a Europe-wide preliminary injunction against the Galaxy S, S II and Ace smartphones.
As the brothers Chuckle would say: "Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear."
Now, before you start panicking and going out to buy the Android devices by the bucket-load whilst they're still available, be aware that voice of patent reason - Foss Patents - has stated that even though the UK is one of the EU countries the ban could apply to, the likelihood is that Samsung will appeal, or even restructure its shipping channels, before the 13 October banning date.
"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," states Florian Mueller, the brains behind Foss.
He adds: "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 reorganise its logistics chain in Europe accordingly."
Apple originally sued Samsung back in April due to claims that the South Korean manufacturer had copied many elements of its iPhone and iPad designs and user interface with the Galaxy range of phones and tablets.
This escalated earlier this month with the news that Samsung had been told that it has to withdraw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Europe including the UK, just days after it went on sale, following orders by a German court. Samsung appealed and the preliminary injunction was lifted (everywhere but Germany) for the time being.
This recent judgement does not seem to apply to the Galaxy Tab but, worryingly for Samsung, is the first instance of Apple possessing an enforceable court decision that finds Android to infringe upon its patents.
The plot thickens.