A Dutch court on Friday turned down Samsung Electronics' request for an injunction against all of Apple's mobile products that use 3G telecommunications technology, denying it revenge over a similar move by Apple.
The two technology giants have been locked in an acrimonious battle in 10 countries involving smartphones and tablets since April. Four patent infringement cases launched by Samsung against Apple were filed in the Netherlands alone.
A court in The Hague on Friday dismissed Samsung's claims of patent infringement by Apple, scuppering its bid to ban the sale of iPhones and iPads in the Netherlands. It also rejected Apple's counterclaims in the case.
A win for Apple but also relief for the industry because the judge upheld widespread understanding of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms in the use of patents, independent intellectual property expert Florian Mueller said.
On Friday, the Dutch court found Samsung's 3G patents were part of essential standards which should be open to license under FRAND and that the two companies should negotiate an agreement.
The ruling is a blow to Samsung, which has filed patent-infringement claims in France and Italy in order to ban the sale of the iPhone, just as Apple has started marketing the latest edition of the popular gadget, iPhone 4S.
Apple will be taking French and Italian translations of the Dutch ruling with it. This makes it a long shot for Samsung that it could win an injunction in the EU based on its 3G patents, Mueller said.
Samsung vowed not to give up the legal fight in the Netherlands against its Californian rival.
Today's ruling relates only to Samsung's preliminary injunction request, and Samsung will continue to assert our case against Apple's violation of our wireless technology patents through the main proceeding filed with the court in The Hague, the Korean electronics giant said in a statement.
Apple has filed its own lawsuits in several countries, arguing Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets slavishly copied its iPhone and iPad.
It is no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging, an Apple spokesman said.
This month, Samsung was forced to upgrade three of its smartphones to get around temporary sales bans on earlier versions of products that a Dutch court said violated an Apple patent.
Apple's new iPhone went on sale in stores across the globe on Friday, prompting thousands to queue around city blocks to snap up the gadget despite criticism about the lack of a design revolution and reports of software glitches.