A Dutch court yesterday found Apple liable for infringing on one of four Samsung patents.
With the iPhone 4S, Apple has infringed on a Samsung patent that governs an "apparatus for encoding a transport format combination indicator for a communication system," according to The Hague, which also awarded damages.
In a statement, Samsung said it "welcomes the Court's ruling, which reaffirms Apple's free-riding of our technological innovation." The company pledged to "seek adequate compensation for the damage Apple and its products have caused."
"For decades, Samsung has heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological innovations that have enabled the operation of advanced devices, including those widely adopted by other mobile device manufacturers," Samsung continued. "We will continue to defend our innovations and protect our intellectual property rights to stop Apple's free-riding of our technology."
Apple was not found to infringe on three other 3G patents, according to patent blogger Florian Mueller. But as he pointed out, "there's some symbolic significance in the fact that after more than a year of litigation, Samsung has finally won a ruling in an offensive case."
"All patent assertions by Samsung against Apple that previously came to judgment were dismissed," Mueller said, pointing to the company's failure to secure iOS device injunctions in France and Italy and three losses in Germany.
"Samsung has approximately 100,000 patents worldwide. At some point it had to win something," Mueller quipped, though given the dozens of complaints currently being hashed out around the globe, "the impact of today's ruling is minimal," he said. "It's not even clear that Samsung will make enough money as a result of this infringement finding to offset the 800,000 euros it now owes Apple in legal fees because it lost with respect to three of its four patents."
The news was first reported by Dutch IDG website Webwereld.
In March, the same Dutch court ruled that Samsung is not allowed to pursue injunctions on "essential" patents if Cupertino is willing to negotiate a licensing deal.
The battle is far from over. Just this week, the Federal Circuit denied Samsung's request for a rehearing regarding the Galaxy Tab 10.1, while a California district judge also rejected Samsung's request for clarification regarding its right to present workarounds for three Apple patents.