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11/28/2012
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Samsung Loses In Latest Apple Patent Decision

Dutch court rules that Samsung violated Apple patents as the two firms' legal battles continue.

A court in Amsterdam has determined that some of Samsung's smartphones and tablets infringe on Apple's patents. The Dutch court ordered Samsung to pay Apple damages, which will be based on how much profit Samsung made from the devices in the European Union.

This particular case involves Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets that run older versions of Android, specifically 2.2.1 to 3.0. The ruling applies to a narrow selection of devices that don't use Samsung's own photo gallery software. In these devices, the court found Samsung infringed on an Apple patent that applies to how photo galleries scroll and show previews of the next photo. Devices that use Samsung's own photo gallery app treat gallery scrolling differently, so they don't infringe on the patent.

Samsung had previously lost a case regarding the same patent to Apple last year and made changes to its devices. It couldn't prove to the Dutch, however, that any measurable change had been made. It now faces an immediate ban of the infringing products in The Netherlands. It will be fined 100,000 euros for each day it fails to adhere to the new ban.

Samsung and Apple have locked legal horns in 10 countries around the world over patents.

[ For more details on the ongoing battle between Apple and Samsung: Apple Will Pay For Paltry Samsung Apology. ]

In the U.S., both companies face an important hearing December 6 in San Jose. That hearing will revisit the $1.05 billion guilty verdict that Samsung was hit with in August. Both companies will present arguments about the case and its initial verdict. Apple is seeking to ban sales of the infringing products in the U.S., while Samsung hopes to vacate the verdict altogether.

One of the key items Samsung will argue revolves around the behavior of the jury foreman, who Samsung alleges misconstrued his history with technology companies and litigation.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ordered, "The Court will consider the questions of whether the jury foreperson concealed information during voir dire, whether any concealed information was material, and whether any concealment constituted misconduct."

The problem pertains to the foreman's previous involvement in litigation. The foreman was at one point employed by Seagate and was sued by the company. Samsung argued that it has a "substantial strategic relationship" with Seagate, and that the foreman should have disclosed this prior relationship to the judge.

Also earlier this month, Apple lost a case against Samsung regarding the Galaxy Tab in the U.K. It was ordered to make a public apology to Samsung on its web site. It played games with the apology, however, and annoyed the British judges. In the end, Apple will have to pay Samsung's legal fees for the U.K. case.

The battles rage on...

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