won a major victory against Samsung
today; a German court has banned the Korean manufacturer from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the entire European Union. The ruling is the latest setback for Samsung in its battle with Apple over allegations that its devices infringe on Apple's patents with respect to aspects of the iPhone / iPad's design and GUI. The injunction blocks the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the entire EU save for the Netherlands, where a separate court case with a similar goal is being decided. Samsung's comments on the injunction indicate it had no idea the ruling was coming.
Samsung is disappointed with the court's decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world. The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung. We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world. This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.
The last part isn't really true; the German ruling allows Apple to request other EU member states honor the injunction with the exception being the Netherlands, as previously mentioned. The ruling is a sharp reversal to news from earlier in August, in which Samsung agreed to sell a version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia that Apple had no objection to. Whatever hints of cooperation that agreement might have contained have been effectively obliterated. While we've covered the ongoing Android-related patent battles in some detail, the knockdown-dragout fight between Samsung and Apple has its own unique twists. The original lawsuits date back to April, but things became more heated in early July. That's when Apple requested a preliminary injunction against Samsung that would've blocked the sale of the Infuze, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Samsung has consolidated its lawsuits and counterclaims against Apple and the EU decision won't affect the US courts. The ruling is still a blow to the company's attempts to establish the Galaxy Tab as a successful product in its own right. That said, the Tab scarcely lacks for company. Thus far, none of the would-be iPad killers--including the Xoom
, the Playbook
, the Galaxy
, or the TouchPad
--have made much headway against Apple's iPad 2.