Samsung was dealt a harsh blow by a Netherlands Judge today in their ongoing legal battle against Apple. However, things may not be too grim for the Korean manufacturer. The court ruled that the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Ace infringe upon one of Apple's software patents. This is patent number EP 2059868, which is for a "portable electronic device for photo management." These phones have been subsequently banned from sale throughout the European Union. The ruling is in regards to the following specific patent that was violated:
A portable electronic device with a touch screen display for photo management is disclosed. One aspect of the invention involves a computer-implemented method in which the portable electronic device displays an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images. The device replaces the displayed array of thumbnail images with a user-selected photographic image upon detecting a user contact with a corresponding thumbnail image in the array. The user-selected photographic image is displayed at a larger scale than the corresponding thumbnail image. The portable device displays a different photographic image in replacement of the user-selected photographic image in accordance with a scrolling gesture. The scrolling gesture comprises a substantially horizontal movement of user contact with the touch screen display.
Here's a quote from the FossPatents article sharing a few more details on what it means for Samsung,
In legal terms, the order does not bind Samsung's Korean parent company -- only three different Samsung subsidiaries registered in the Netherlands -- with respect to other countries than the Netherlands. However, it is my understanding that Samsung's European logistics use the Netherlands as the primary hub. If Samsung's Korean parent company wants to exercise its freedom to ship into other European countries despite this injunction, it will have to reorganize its logistics chain in Europe accordingly.
The good news about this is that the judge rejected several other patent issues, as well as Apple's claim that Samsung had stolen many of its design ideas. This also means that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will not be banned from sale. Furthermore, here's where things start to actually look even better. This is a quote directly from a BBC news article, quoting Samsung in regards to this outcome,
Despite the impending embargo, Samsung welcomed the judgement. In a statement, the company said: "Today's ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive.

"With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers."
It appears that Samsung has vowed to keep fighting, and will likely just make some adjustments to their software to make sure their phones are still available. We will continue to monitor the case and share any more relevant info.

Source: via AndroidCentral and FossPatents and BBC News