Of all the patent disputes going on involving smartphones and their manufacturers, none has received quite so much attention as Apple’s initiative against Samsung. Apple’s been going after the Korean company with accusations that its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S are just rip-offs of the iPad and iPhone, respectively. As part of its legal efforts, Apple’s been trying to restrict Samsung imports and sales. Apple just scored a significant victory in that regard, with a judge in The Hague granting a preliminary injunction against Samsung that halts its sales of the Galaxy S, Galaxy S2, and Galaxy Ace.
There are plenty of larger questions to still be decided regarding Apple’s claims of Samsung copying its iOS device look-and-feel, but this recent ruling focuses on a few specific patents. The court found that Samsung violated patents relating to scrolling, screen taps, and slide-to-unlock functionality.
The consequences of this ruling will go into effect on October 13, when Samsung’s NL branch will no longer be able to sell these phones anywhere in the EU, throwing a wrench into the works of Samsung’s EU import operations. For now, at least, the Galaxy Tab is unaffected, but that could easily change in the future.
Update: As people with a better understanding of Dutch than us get a chance to read through the ruling, we’re receiving word that it was only actually the one patent Samsung was found to be violating, and that it can remedied by removing the offending app; looks like Samsung may be able to keep selling Galaxys after all.