Apple has won a preliminary injunction against Samsung in a Dutch court that will stop the Korean firm shipping several of its smartphones into the UK, as the bitter legal battle between the companies continues.
The Rechtbank 's-Gravenhage court in The Hague issued the EU-wide preliminary injunction on Wednesday against Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones following a hearing on 10 and 11 August.
The ruling is valid in countries that adhere to the EP 2059868 software patent relating to photo management on portable electronic devices.
This includes the Netherlands, which could hit Samsung sales hard as the company will have to reroute its shipping channel, according to patent specialist Florian Mueller.
"It is my understanding that Samsung's European logistics use the Netherlands as the primary hub," he said on the Foss Patents blog.
"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."
Mueller told V3 that Samsung will probably try to rearrange its logistics, but that "it will be a costly move".
V3 contacted Apple for comment, but the firm simply reiterated its previous statement on the ongoing litigation.
"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," the firm said.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
V3 contacted Samsung for comment but the company had not responded at the time of publication.
A German court had previously overturned the ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, and it is likely that Samsung will appeal against this latest decision.
However, the court's ruling is not just a blow for Samsung but for Android, given it is the first to find the Google-backed operating system infringing an Apple patent.
"Samsung may be able to work around that particular patent without a huge degradation of the usability of its devices because it appears to relate to the way users flip through the pictures in a photo gallery. However, regardless of how Samsung may be able to work around this decision in Europe, it's a severe blow for Android," said Mueller.
"In all likelihood, the winning patent is infringed by Android itself - probably not the operating system per se, but by one or more of the applications that ship with Android and without which the usefulness of Android would be impaired in one particular area (photo viewing)."
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