A Dutch judge has ruled that sales of the Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy S and Galaxy Ace are to be stopped in the Netherlands.

Apple was claiming that not only did Samsung's smartphones and tablets infringe on design patents, but also infringed on three key software patents too, although only one of these claims have been upheld.

These software patents are:

EP 2,058,868 - method of scrolling / browsing gallery;

EP 2098948 - recording a "flag" in connection with multiple screen taps, of which Samsung would use the system by using Android 2.3 or later version;

EP 1,964,022 - method of "unlocking" of a portable device through the touch screen an "unlock image" in a way to drag.

Heart of the hydra

The problem here is the Netherlands controls the entry point to Europe for supply of the devices, so a ban here has wide-reaching effects for the rest of the continent.

UPDATE: It seems this is only going to affect the Netherlands, as Samsung has confirmed to TechRadar it won't be affecting other countries.

The good news for Samsung fans is that only the first patent listed, that which deals with scrolling or browsing a gallery, has been adjudged as an infringement, with the judge ruling that the rest of the system was fairly used.

This means the Galaxy Tab series is free from the lockdown, but the Galaxy S, S2 and Ace are all to have their sales suspended.

The ban won't come into force until 13 October, so Samsung has time to appeal this one - we've spoken to Samsung to see if it's got anything to say on the matter.

From: Original ruling via Engadget