Samsung Galaxy Banned in The Netherlands For Infringing Apple Patent
Samsung has been slapped with a ban in The Netherlands on selling Galaxy devices running Android 2.2.1 related to Apple’s photo gallery “bounce back” patent. Samsung lost the case originally in 2011, and told the courts that they fixed the problem by changing their photo gallery app. The courts, however, wanted a statement from Samsung that it would no longer infringe on the patent, and Samsung didn’t hence…
A Dutch court has banned sales of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy products that infringe on an Apple patent describing a way to scroll through a photo gallery using a touchscreen.
The ban only applies to Galaxy products that run Android 2.2.1 and higher that don’t use Samsung’s proprietary photo gallery software, the Court of The Hague ruled on Wednesday.
Apple patented a way to scroll past the edge of a zoomed-in photo and see a glimpse of the next in a series of images, after which the initial photo bounces back onto the screen, a technique that Samsung has used in its Galaxy products. Samsung’s proprietary photo gallery software replaces that bounce-back feature with a “blue flash” that illuminates the edge of the image.
The ruling in the Netherlands against Samsung last year seems pretty straightforward, and Samsung said it would/did fix it. However, what appears to have angered the courts—and led to the ban and fine announced today—is Samsung’s unwillingness to sign a “declaration of abstinence” regarding the disputed patent:
“The argument raised by Samsung at the hearing that Samsung Benelux does not sell the infringing products any more, cannot lead to a rejection of the ban,” wrote judge Peter Blok, who presided over the panel of three judges in the verdict. Blok said he would grant the ban because Samsung refused to sign a declaration of abstinence committing to not infringing the patent.
For the penalty phase, not only does Samsung face the sales ban, but also much disclose to Apple the profits it made since June of last year and if they don’t comply be fined 100,000 euros a day:
The court ordered Samsung to tell Apple how much net profit it made from sales of infringing Galaxy products since June 27, 2011. A separate court procedure will determine how much of that profit Samsung must pay Apple.
If Samsung continues to infringe on the patent, it has to pay Apple a penalty of 100,000 euros (US$129,000) for every day it violates the ban, the court ruled.
Moral of the story: Don’t annoy judges.
Photo credit: Samsung Galaxy 3 by Stankivic Vlada on Flickr