German court rules to ban sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

Apple has won a case in Germany to prohibit the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in the country.

A Düsseldorf court upheld the preliminary injunction secured by Apple, which claims that Samsung had infringed its intellectual property and copied the iPad.

Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann ruled that there was a “clear impression of similarity” between the Apple and the Samsung devices.

Apple declined to comment on the judgement, but Samsung wrote in a statement:

“We are disappointed with this ruling and believe it severely limits consumer choice in Germany.”

The company added that it will “actively and immediately” appeal the ruling and will likely go to a higher court, the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf.

Colin Fowler, associate at specialist IP law firm Rouse, said that the practical effect of the ruling will be limited to Germany, rather than the EU-wide ban – with the exception of the Netherlands – that Apple had initially secured.

“The skirmish over the injunction is important not just for Apple and Samsung, but also for other tablet manufacturers, as well as consumers, because it means the product stays off the market in Germany. Apple is reportedly now also pursuing the Galaxy Tab 7.7 so the dispute between the two companies appears to be escalating,” said Fowler.

“However, the two central issues of whether Apple’s design survives a validity attack and whether Samsung’s product is too close to Apple’s design and therefore infringes it will not be finally decided for many months. If Apple is eventually successful Samsung will have to redesign or abandon the affected products and future designs for tablets from all manufacturers would have to steer clear of Apple’s design rights.”

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