That ruling was used as a guide by the District Court of The Hague, because the British judgement related to the same legal issue as in the Dutch case, Blok wrote. "Moreover, the judgement was made by a higher court than this court," he said, adding that the fact that there were other Samsung entities involved in the Dutch case does not lead to a different conclusion.
In principle, the District Court of The Hague should follow the British verdict, Blok wrote. Apple did not put forward any other arguments that were rejected by the U.K. Court of Appeal, and Apple did not specify a ground on which the court of The Hague could pass over this verdict, he added. "The mere fact that Apple does not agree with that assessment is therefore insufficient," he said, and therefore he saw no reason to reach a different conclusion.
Blok lent less weight to Apple's victory in Germany on Oct. 24, 2011, when the District Court of Dusseldorf made a preliminary ruling that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringed on the community design. That verdict was ratified by the Higher District Court of Dusseldorf on July 24, 2012, which imposed a provisional sales ban on the Tab 7.7 in the E.U. The case is still ongoing.
Samsung welcomed Wednesday's ruling. "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art," said Samsung spokeswoman Anne ter Braak in an emailed statement. "Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."
Apple spokesman Alan Hely declined to comment.
Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.