The patent war is getting dirtier by the day. Just a week after winning a similar case in Australia, Apple has now won a preliminary injunction against Samsung which would stop the sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the whole of European Union except for the Netherlands.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 went on sale in U.K last week and was seen to be the fastest selling tablet after iPad. Now, Samsung must take them off the shelves for at-least a month, till the German court restart the hearing.
The preliminary injunction was granted by the Regional court of Dusseldorf in Germany where the judge backed Apple’s claims that the Samsung’s Android tablet infringes the patented design of the Apple’s iPad 2. Samsung will be allowed to appeal against the judgement, but any appeal would be heard only in around four weeks. Till that time, Samsung will not be able to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, except in Netherlands, where Apple has filed a separate lawsuit.
Apple vs Samsung
Apple claims that Samsung has blatantly copied the design, look and feel of devices like iPhone and iPad, thereby infringing upon many of Apple’s patents. Even in Australia, Apple had filed and successfully won a similar suit against Samsung, which resulted in the delay of Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch.
It all started back in April 2011, when Apple alleged and sued Samsung in the US, accusing the Korean company of violating some of their patents. However, the United States ITC hasn’t yet delivered any such drastic judgements thus far in the US.
Toughest Competitor to iPad
Both the iPad versions have had an unbelievable run so far all over the world, thanks to sub-standard competition from the likes of Samsung, Motorola and RIM. Samsung’s latest entrant, galaxy Tab 10.1 was touted to be the closest and possibly the toughest competitor to Cupertino giant’s iPad 2 tablet. With Android 3.1, 1GB RAM, a slightly higher resolution screen, thinner and a nice design overall, Galaxy Tab had enough to take on the latest iPad.
An Apple spokesperson minced no words when he called the Samsung’s latest product as a mere copycat!
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape to the UI and even packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s IP when companies steal our ideas.”
I must say, from the looks of it, Apple has a strong hold in this case against Samsung. These two injunctions back-to-back only proves that. Samsung and Google have built strong hopes with Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the injunctions have come at a wrong time just when the tablet was getting launched. Fandroids have every right to call it a foul, while Fanboys have every reason to celebrate. We just need to see where it goes from here.
Update 1 (15th Aug 2011): There are some reports that Apple might have misled the court by altering the drawings/images of Galaxy tab 10.1 in the documents filed in the court.
Update 2 (16th Aug 2011): The Dusseldorf district court has issued an interim statement which allows Samsung to sell The Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all European Nations, except Germany. The next official hearing is scheduled for August 25th and the ruling can be over-turned again at that time.