Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban upheld in Germany, Tab 8.9 added to injunction

By on January 31, 2012, 5:30 PM

Today, a German court upheld a preliminary injunction which prevents the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. Fortunately for Samsung, the first two patent claims were dismissed; however, this did not change the court's original, overall decision. The court also determined that the ban should extend to the smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9, yet another blow to Samsung from Deutschland.

During a long string of intellectual property disputes between the two companies, Apple filed for a preliminary injunction against Samsung in Germany this August. Apple's complaint was based on its belief that Samsung followed the physical design of the iPad far too closely. The German court agreed with Apple and attempted to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout almost the whole of Europe. However, after the Dusseldorf court realized it had overreached its jurisdiction, it narrowed the sales prohibition to just Germany.

In response to the injunction, Samsung tweaked its design with more a pronounced metallic rim, relocating the speakers to the side of the unit and slightly altering other more subtle cosmetic attributes responsible for the general look and feel of the Galaxy Tab. The company rebadged it as the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Despite Samsung's efforts to please German courts though, Apple filed for an injunction in November against the modified version too.

Although Apple has enjoyed tremendous legal success in Germany, today's decision was based primarily upon a very specific German law -- the German unfair competition law. Because this law does not apply outside of Germany, Apple's win is expected to remain a relatively isolated event. Also, Samsung has successfully defended against similar disputes in other countries, such as Australia and the United States. Such wins outside of Germany are expected to lessen the global impact of today's ruling.

User Comments: 4

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enocheed said:

Many companies are ripping of Apple design. The whole use your finger to flip pages is apples design. Almost all devices rip that idea off. Also the design and implementation of finger resistant touch surface and the whole interface with the pop up keyboard. All companies copy that. Now the bad part. Why can't we humans just get used to the fact that all good technology and invention should be used everywhere and ban the bad ones. This is what is going to kill us. We make up laws to ban good ideas or to isolate them to one company instead of shutting down bad ideas. Like the are you sure prompt. How come there is no legal debate over that. We made that one just a necessity. So smart users can be annoyed by that just to save the stupid once that will click the wrong button anyways. Why cuz their stupid!

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Stanley Kubrick Should be suing Apple for arrogantly claiming HIS 2001 Space Odyssey design teams Idea, look and feel for a tablet multi media computing device.

But just like apples insipid and adolescent law suits around the world.. it would be a waste of time and just add more cost in the end to the consumer and as a consumer i won't be buying a product from petulant children like Apple.

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I agree with you, mostly.

In the U.S. at least, the idea of protecting inventions was to encourage innovation. To do that, inventors were to be rewarded for their work. Perfectly sensible and reasonable.

The system has gradually been ruined by greedy individuals, companies, patent trolls etc... Patents, copyrights and trademarks have become a self-contained war game with its own arms race -- almost always used at the cost of others and often times done so at the expense of societal progress itself.

Flipping pages, for example, is hardly a novel idea. We've been flipping pages for thousands of years. Why should that backwards idea be copyrighted/patented now that it can be done digitally?I hope it isn't, but I *guarantee* you it is and someone like Apple sitting on it... waiting for the right time to sue...

Now that companies wield patents like swords, even companies who might not be interested in gaming the system feel forced to do so... otherwise they get sliced in half.

From my limited perspective, it seems out of control with frivolous lawsuits and hundreds of billions spent developing, protecting and abusing patents etc... There are plenty of legit reasons for protecting your work, but patenting certain keyboard button combinations, the colors of app icons or unlocking a touch screen phone with a swipe are not protecting anything of value, only hurting the industry.

tonylukac said:

I'm getting into programming Android/iPhone and I won't be buying either to program them. All you need are the emulators running on computers. There are enough Android phones around to borrow one to do the final testing. You even need an expensive mac to run the iPhone emulator, so by the time I afforded that whose going to pay $100/month for each phone and perhaps $300 for the phone?

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