Apple photo gallery patent about to get all Samsung Galaxy phones banned in the EU?
A Dutch court today issued a European Union-wide injunction against the sale of Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Ace phones, due to violation of an Apple patent involving swiping between photos in a gallery. The injunction would start taking effect in mid-October (around the time of iPhone 5 release).
However, it sounds like the impact might be mitigated somewhat by Apple's failure to file all the proper paperwork for their patents in all the proper countries. Also, the court disregarded most of Apple's other patent claims, focusing their ruling on this one, single area of infringement.
According to FOSS Patents:
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 setback for Android, a platform that is at issue in more than 50 lawsuits worldwide. In all likelihood, the winning patent is infringed by Android itself -- 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). Apple has now obtained the first enforceable court decision (out of many lawsuits going on around the world) that finds Android to infringe an Apple patent -- and there will definitely be many more to come.
In other words, the Imperial Fleet might have come out of hyperspace too close to this system, but all sides better prepare for ground assault.