Apple loses Dutch multi-touch patent case against Samsung

“Apple Inc. lost a Dutch court ruling in a patent lawsuit over Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy handsets,” Maaike Noordhuis reports for Bloomberg.

“Samsung’s Galaxy products using certain versions of Google Inc.’s Android operating system don’t infringe Apple patents concerning so-called multi-touch flags, Judge Peter Blok said in a ruling today in The Hague, Netherlands,” Noordhuis reports. “The Hague-based court said today’s verdict follows similar rulings in the U.K. and Germany on the touch- screen patents.”

Noordhuis reports, “Apple, based in Cupertino, California, was also ordered to pay Samsung about 325,000 euros ($420,000) in costs, the judge said. Steve Park, a spokesman for Apple in Seoul, declined to comment. The court started a new round of trials between Apple and Samsung in the Netherlands in September, concerning multiple patents and proceedings as Apple seeks a ban on Galaxy devices in the country, where the Suwon, South Korea-based company has its distribution center for Europe.”

Read more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Don’t know the details about the suit but just getting tired of this crap about patents that are so general in nature..(I invented the wheel so pay me for everything that is round against Apple) winning cases, where specific and new items becoming a world changer (swipe to open, pinch to zoom, etc) losing cause we use our finger to change the page…..

    I guess it is end of days. I wonder if I can get a well worded patent about how to screw up any and every situation…. I will call it government….. ?????

    Just a typical wednesday I guess. 🙁

      1. Having patented before, I found out that a patent is only worth the paper it is printed on if you are willing and have deep pockets to defend it and even then you may lose or have it declared invalid. We seem to be slipping into an era where patents are a thing of the past and will end up like the clothing / fashion industry where everyone copies each other.

      1. 20 years is far too long for software. That length of time made sense when physical goods were costly and hard to manufacture.

        IMHO software patents (unlike physical implementations) should never have been allowed in the first place. They enrich no one–not Apple, not Samsung/Google. Only the IP lawyers and patent trolls.

        1. I’m in total agreement.

          I’m an AAPL shareholder, and a HUGE Apple fan, but I think that many of the patents that Apple has been granted should have never been approved (just like many other companies’ patents).

          But, just like the tax code, we can not blame Apple for playing the game by the rules that have been set. If Apple was not proactive in seeking these patents, others would be.

          We definitely need patent reform (and tax code reform, but that is a different topic. 😉 ).

  2. Years ago I initiated a project while working for a bank. I kept pushing for Macs in the bank. The division I worked for was writing personal computer software for our clients, to use their office PCs as client computers to a VAX/VMS based back end. Only I had to fight to make sure we wrote a Mac version.

    Inspired by IBM’s VM OS and DEC’s VAX/VMS I came up with this nutty idea that we should create a virtual machine that executed a subset of the C language on any computer where the virtual machine had been compiled and ran. Unfortunately Bank of America bought us before it could really get off the ground and squashed the project. Yeah, we were going to patent it, had people already working on that aspect.

    Years after that I heard of this thing called JAVA. JAVA was pretty much the same idea. Had we done our patent, I wouldn’t have said, “Hey, JAVA belongs to me! ME! MEEEE!” I would have said, “Cool.”

    You can’t own a concept. I mean the idea of virtual machines did not belong to me. I was inspired by how each user effectively had their own VAX while running under VMS. I thought Virtual Machines on the desktop were the future… yada yada.

    These days people are patenting fuzzy ideas as etherial as that. I’m of the opinion that software and algorithms are like math. You shouldn’t be able to patent math.

    When you look at the myriad ideas that make up the iPhone, it should be clear that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. That sum, the iPhone itself, should be a patentable idea. Synergy based patents maybe?

    Cause that’s what we’re really talking about, not that Samsung sniped pinch and zoom, but that they completely shagged the synergy of the iPhone, from the look and feel to the entire, I dunno, gestalt of the thing with no shame whatsoever.

    You can’t stop me from building a car. You should be able to stop me from building a BMW 3 Series and calling it the TM100 or something.

    1. You’re making a lot of sense, TM. I’m sure Apple hates these patents as much as everyone else, but they’re forced to do it because of the system that’s set up. A blind man can see that Samsung ripped off Apple wholesale. But Apple has no other legal recourse than to sue for one or two crappy little patents at a time in front of snippy little judges and lying, cheating lawyers.
      Time for a change, indeed.

  3. Someday I’ll tell you about this other idea I had where we made HyperCard stacks IP addressable. Links to stacks could have gone to any stack on any computer on the network, or even, the world. It was gonna be great. We were going to include this weird obscure markup language based on another DEC product, can’t remember the name.

    Then interest in HyperCard failed.

    Then years later this young punk creates this thing, this HTML and this thing called a web server and… whatever. Proving it’s the people who take an idea to fruition that matter the most.

  4. The only thing the West has to compete with the Asian economies is intellectual property rights. The West invents something and then allows the Eastern economies to manufacture.

    What seems to be happening is that we in the West are wilfully destroying our future. Once Samsung et al are allowed to copy for free, then effectively there is little point in invention or innovation.

    Memo to Trolls: Copying is not the same as innovation.

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