Dutch court rules Samsung did not violate Apple’s prized multitouch gesture patents

A court in The Netherlands let Samsung off the hook, ruling that some of the South Korean conglomerate’s many Galaxy smartphones and tablets did not infringe upon Apple’s prized patents related to multitouch gestures on iPhones and iPads. As you know, Apple took Samsung and other handset makers to court, arguing they copied the zoom to pinch feature and other multi-finger gestures on iOS devices.

This ruling alone won’t help Samsung evade the $1+ billion payout from a massive loss in the Apple vs. Samsung mega-suit in the United States. The U.S International Trade Commission is set to determine on Thursday whether Samsung really infringed on Apple’s patents…

The news of the ruling in The Netherlands was first reported by Reuters.

“With these products Samsung does not infringe the claims that Apple has made”, the court said in its ruling on Wednesday.

The Next Web has a statement from Samsung:

We welcome today’s ruling, which affirms our position that our products do not infringe Apple’s intellectual property.

For decades, we have heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological and design innovations in the mobile industry, which have been constantly reflected in our products.

We will continue to further develop and introduce products that enhance the lives of Dutch consumers.

Patent blogger Florian Müeller notes that the ruling should have no bearing on patent wars Apple and Samsung are now waging in at least ten countries worldwide.

This non-win was expected. The Dutch court was the first European court to throw out this patent, which would have quite some impact if Apple’s interpretation of its scope ever was adopted.

Apple previously lost a preliminary injunction on this patent against Samsung and Google’s subsidiary Motorola in Mannheim, Germany, and against HTC in London.

Last week, the iPhone maker won an important patent grant for the iPad’s rectangular design.

However, the company suffered a blow yesterday as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively invalidated its infamous ’381 patent, also known as rubber-banding, that covers the bouncing effect when scrolling on a touch screen and which the company effectively asserted against competitors.

The more than one billion dollars in damages awarded to Apple in a U.S. suit partly stems from an assertion that Samsung devices violate the rubber-banding patent. The European Patent Office is also looking to invalidate Apple’s rubber-banding patent in Europe.

This is good news for Samsung, which will no doubt ask the appeals court to recalculate damages or even overturn the original ruling.

What do you think, should this invention be readily available to everyone or perhaps Apple is entitled to patent it considering it’s their idea in the first place?