Apple injunction keeps Samsung Tab off shelves
A worldwide intellectual property-rights offensive by Apple against the chief rival to its iPad will keep Samsung Electronics’ Android-based tablet computer out of consumers’ hands on two continents for several weeks, at least.
Apple took aim at South Korea-based Samsung in a surprise legal manoeuvre in a German court, winning a preliminary injunction on Tuesday against sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in every European Union country save the Netherlands. It claimed its “design rights” – the shape of the Galaxy Tab, its user interface and even its packaging – had been copied from the iPad.
Samsung, the biggest technology company by sales, on Friday filed a motion to lift the EU ban and the court scheduled a hearing in the case for August 25. It said it had not been given a chance to present its arguments that the Tab did not infringe on Apple’s EU-wide design claim.
If it prevails it could force Apple to pay damages for the sudden halt to its just-launched European marketing effort for the device.
But developments elsewhere suggest Samsung thinks Apple’s claims have something behind them.
In a Netherlands proceeding on Wednesday, Samsung tried to stave off a trial by volunteering to hold off selling the Tab version that is on sale in the US and parts of Asia. Apple did not take them up on the deal, which echoed a settlement in Australia reached two weeks ago.
The two companies are also embroiled in legal fights in Japan, Korea, and the US, and the growing conflict is just one facet of an even bigger battle among Apple, Microsoft and many makers of tablets and smartphones relying on Google’s Android operating system