German news agency dpa (via FOSS Patents) reports that a district court in Düsseldorf, Germany has granted Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1, barring distribution of the product in the entire European Union except for the Netherlands.
Samsung had unveiled two new Honeycomb tablets at the CTIA 2011: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to compete with Apple’s iPad 2. Samsung had calling them the “world’s thinnest tablets” at just 8.6 millimeters, slightly thinner than iPad 2 at 8.8 millimeters.
In the lawsuit, Apple claimed that Samsung has not only copied the hardware shape but also the user interface and packaging from the iPhone and iPad.
FOSS Patents reports:
The leading German news agency, dpa, just reported that Apple has been granted a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1, barring distribution of the product in the entire European Union except for the Netherlands. I can confirm that Apple has a separate lawsuit underway in the Netherlands as well, asserting (European) Community utility model no. 000181607-0001.
Apple alleged that the Galaxy Tab imitates the iPad and infringes on various intellectual property rights owned by Apple. Apple asked the Landgericht (district court) of Düsseldorf, Germany, to order an injunction under which Samsung is threatened with fines of up to EUR 250,000 (US$ 350,000) for each violation or imprisonment of Samsung’s management for up to two years in the event of continued infringement. Those are standard sanctions under German tort law for contempt of a preliminary injunction.
FOSS Patents notes that Apple might have filed a separate lawsuit in Netherlands. Apple had also requested for a similar injunction in Australia, which had forced Samsung to delay the launch of Galaxy Tab 10.1 indefinitely. You can checkout FOSS Patents article, which provides more details.
This is a big one for Apple. It will be interesting to see how the injunction will affect Apple’s relationship with Samsung who is one of the main suppliers of A4 and A5 system-on-a-chip, LCD Displays, flash memory that is used in the iPhone, iPad and iPod product lines.
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