Dutch Court Finds No Samsung Infringement Of Apple Touch Patent

By Joseph Mandour on October 24, 2012

Los Angeles PatentsOrange County – A court in the Hague on Wednesday reaffirmed its previous ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. did not infringe an Apple Inc. patent for a “touch event model” used in smartphones and tablets, aligning itself with similar recent rulings in the United Kingdom and Germany.

The Rechtbank’s-Gravenhage did not go as far as the U.K. court, which invalidated the patent, but accepted Samsung’s argument that it did not infringe EP2098948, according to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, who reported the decision early Wednesday.

The Dutch court’s decision represents a reaffirmation of a non-infringement finding it made in August 2011, when it became the first European court to reject the touch event model patent.

The patent is also facing a challenge in the European Patent Office at the hands of Samsung, HTC Corp. and Motorola Mobility LLC.

The case comes on the heels of another European court victory for Samsung over Apple last week, when the U.K.’s Court of Appeal upheld a July ruling by a High Court judge that found Samsung did not infringe Apple’s designs when creating its own tablet.

In July Judge Colin Birss of the High Court found no infringement on Samsung’s part, saying Samsung’s tablets do not have the same “understated and extreme simplicity” as the Apple design.

“They are not as cool,” Judge Birss said.

In September, meanwhile, the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany ruled that Android devices made by Samsung and Motorola do not infringe a different Apple-held European patent for a touch-sensitive interface.

Apple also suffered a setback earlier this week when Samsung revealed in a court filing Monday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has made an initial finding upon reexamination that Apple’s “rubber banding” patent is invalid. The European equivalent of that U.S. patent, which covers the bounce-back effect on iPhones and iPads when the end of a document or screen is reached, is also under assault in the EPO from Samsung and others.

Samsung is currently challenging the $1 billion patent infringement verdict handed down earlier this year in Apple’s favor, in which the rubber banding patent was one of the key factors.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement