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Dutch court orders Apple to pay Samsung damages over patent

A man shows a photograph he took on his iPhone of an Apple store in Beijing June 6, 2012.

DAVID GRAY/REUTERS

A Dutch court ordered Apple Inc. to pay damages to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over a patent violation in the Netherlands, the latest twist in the global legal battle waged by the two rival phone and computer makers.

Apple and Samsung have been suing each other in about a dozen countries for the last few years as they compete globally for consumers in the fast-growing markets for smart phones and tablet computers.

The U.S. company has accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad tablet through products that run on Google's Android software. The Korean firm has counter-sued with claims accusing Apple of infringing its patents.

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A court in The Hague ruled Apple had violated a Samsung patent used in some of Apple's phones and tablet computers to connect to the Internet, and said damages should be based on certain iPhone and iPad sales in the Netherlands.

The violation applies to iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 and iPad 1 and 2, the court said.

Damages should be based on Dutch sales figures since August 4, 2010, which the court said was the date when Apple could have known it was violating Samsung's patent.

A Samsung spokeswoman said she did not know whether the ruling had any international implications, nor did she know how much money Samsung would ask for.

An Apple spokesman had no immediate comment.

The Dutch court dismissed three other patent infringements claimed by Samsung.

Apple has a complex relationship with Samsung, a conglomerate that makes computer chips, Galaxy smartphones and televisions.

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While Samsung's smartphones and tablet computers run on Android and compete with Apple's products, Samsung is also a key components supplier to Apple.

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