Apple gains partial ban of Samsung Galaxy devices in the Netherlands

A European court has banned sales of some Samsung Galaxy devices which violate Apple’s patent on flipping through photos on a touchscreen. Wednesday, the Court of The Hague limited the ban to Galaxy products powered by at least Android 2.2.1 and don’t use Samsung’s own photo gallery software.

Samsung reportedly must pay Apple $129,000 per day if it does not follow the ban, as well as inform the Cupertino, California company how much profit was made from sales of the affected Galaxy products sold since June 27 of last year. This is the second court case Samsung has lost concerning the photo gallery patent…

Judge Peter Block, who oversaw the decision, ruled against Samsung’s earlier argument made in September that it no longer sold Galaxy products in the Netherlands which violated Apple’s patent, according to the IDG News Service.

“The argument raised by Samsung at the hearing that Samsung Benelux does not sell the infringing products any more, cannot lead  to a rejection of the ban,” Blok wrote.

A refusal by Samsung to sign a declaration that it would not infringe upon Apple’s patent also was viewed negatively. A Samsung spokeswoman told reporters the South Korean electronics giant was disappointed by the ruling. Apple did not comment.

The patent in dispute involves how Apple users are able to peak at the next photo in a gallery by swiping the current image, a method Samsung has also used. Samsung’s own software ditched the “peaking” for a blue light that highlights the start of the next image.

Wednesday’s court decision is just the latest of several Dutch legal disputes between the two rivals. In October, the Court of The Hague ruled Samsung did not violate an Apple patent on multitouch. In January, the two companies will be back, this time to hear the court’s decision on a question centering on tablet design.

On Tuesday, Apple was awarded more than two-dozen patents on numerous technologies, some of which may come into play when the iPad maker once again faces off with Samsung in court.

Nothing better than a courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung to get a new year off right. Unless the whole Mayan Calendar thing is true, then all bets are off.