Dutch treat: Another day, another patent ruling in Apple v. Samsung

This time around, a court in the Netherlands rules that Samsung does not violate Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent in its line of mobile products.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
James Martin/CNET

Here we go again.

A Dutch court ruled today that Samsung does not violate a patent Apple holds on the so-called pinch-to-zoom feature in mobile software. The feature, which allows users to employ their two fingers to zoom in or out, is a central component in mobile operating systems today.

Today's ruling comes down just months after Apple lost similar battles in Dutch and British courts to enforce the pinch-to-zoom patent against competitors HTC and Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Apple had hoped in each case to ban products that it believed infringe its patents banned from sale.

So far, neither Apple nor Samsung has been able to deal a decisive blow in their patent battles. Apple has come closest with a victory earlier this year in a San Jose, Calif., court in which a jury found Samsung to be violating some of the iPhone maker's patents. The jury paved the way for Apple to receive $1.05 billion in damages and the ability to ban Samsung products. However, there's still a long way to go -- and who knows how many appeals -- before that could happen.

Today's ruling is by no means the end of the battle between Apple and Samsung. If history is to be our guide, a few setbacks here and there mean nothing to the companies as they fight for patent dominance.

CNET has contacted both Apple and Samsung for comment on the ruling. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via Reuters)