updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
Samsung sees Dutch case rejected outright
Samsung faced a major blow in its attempts to counter Apple on Friday after a Dutch court claims against Apple over 3G devices. A judge in The Hague dismissed its claims that the iPhone and 3G iPads violated Samsung's patents for 3G wireless on the grounds that they were standards-based and couldn't be used for lawsuits. The court also tossed calls for a preliminary ban and the Apple counterclaims that had been attached to the case.
Under laws in the Netherlands and numerous other countries, standards patents have to be licensed under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. Apple had complained that Samsung was demanding excessive rates and making its position untenable. The court agreed and said the rate was well beyond what Samsung should charge.
The decision could have a ripple effect on many of Samsung's other claims. Similar challenges are underway in France, Italy, and seven other countries. Apple may use the Dutch verdict as supporting evidence to have Samsung's other cases tossed, leaving the court battle almost uniformly in Apple's favor. Samsung has been trying to ban the iPhone 4S in France as well and might side with Apple on the future device.
A dismissal follows a string of legal setbacks for Samsung in just the past week. Along with reworking Galaxy phones to overcome a successful Apple ban in the Netherlands, it saw the Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in Australia and a US judge generally side with Apple even as it denied one ban.
Apple still has significant hurdles to a complete win but is now far enough along that it might push Samsung to settler rather than risk further losses. [via Florian Mueller]