Judge gavelSamsung’s pursuit of Apple’s iPhone 4S over a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent dispute in the Netherlands has failed. A Dutch judge ruled in Apple’s favor on Wednesday, and said the iPhone 4S does not infringe on Samsung patents, which dealt with an industry essential 3G patent. The win for Apple is seen as “a highly meaningful victory over Samsung,” patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents said.

The judge ruled that Samsung cannot assert its 3G/UMTS wireless patents against the iPhone 4S because of “patent exhaustion,” according to Mueller. In addition, Samsung cannot pursue injunctive relief so long as Apple negotiates a license agreement under FRAND terms.

“Apple is licensed by extension since it purchases baseband chips from Qualcomm, and Samsung’s attempt to terminate its license agreement with Qualcomm as far as third-party beneficiary Apple is concerned failed because Samsung had made a commitment to ETSI, the standards body in charge of 3G, that it would grant irrevocable licenses to its 3G/UMTS essential patents,” Mueller explained.

Samsung was previously denied preliminary injunctions against the iPhone 4S in French and Italian courts, and the South Korea-based company also withdrew an infringement claim against the company in Germany. In fact, Samsung hasn’t prevailed with “any of its offensive claims against Apple anywhere on this planet,” Mueller said.

The two companies are currently fighting against one another in 30 different lawsuits.

[via FOSS Patents]