Samsung Galaxy Tab ban lifted

A ban on the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab in Europe that was put in place earlier this month has been lifted already, albeit temporarily, while authorities investigate the legitimacy of the original ruling. A German court instigated the EU-wide ban (excluding the Netherlands) on the import and sale of the tablet device, after complaints from Apple that the Galaxy imitated its iPad product.

It was widely acknowledged that such a ban would be a short term win for Apple, which claimed Samsung had “slavishly” copied the iPad to develop the Galaxy Tab. But before the case even made it to appeal, the authority of the German court to initiate an EU-wide ban has been called into question, although it still holds in Germany.

The two companies, which are both embroiled in wider tit for tat patent disputes across the industry, are due to meet in court on August 25, when the latest twist in the saga will be revealed.

“Samsung welcomes the Dusseldorf District Court’s decision to suspend the pan-European preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung is fully committed to providing our innovative mobile devices to the market without disruption, and ensuring that consumers have a wider selection of innovative products to choose from. We look forward to the opportunity to reassert our intellectual property rights at the hearing scheduled on August 25,” the South Korean vendor said.

Analyst Caroline Gabriel, of Rethink Wireless, notes that the firm could lose at least ten per cent of its tablet shipments should the ban remain in place for the rest of 2011, with western Europe expected to account for about 30 per cent of total tablet sales this year.

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