Samsung is expected to immediately contest a decision in a German patents court late last night that granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the South Korean vendor, preventing it from launching its Galaxy Tab in Europe. “Tens of thousands” of Samsung’s flagship tablet device have been seized by European customs officers, reports The Guardian.
The injunction covers the whole of the EU with the exception of the Netherlands, though the report notes that Apple is pursuing similar action in a Dutch patents court today.
“We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world,” said a Samsung spokeswoman. She insisted that the court’s decision “in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.” Apple won a similar injunction against the Galaxy Tab in Australia last week.
Apple alleges that Samsung’s tablet infringes ten patents used in Apple's iPad, including – unusually for a patents case – some that cover the “look and feel” of the device. Launching its action in the US last April, Apple accused Samsung of choosing to “slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design.” Samsung has countersued Apple in several markets.
An Apple spokesman said today: “It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
While Apple has been successful in banning initial shipments of the rival device, experts believe it may be liable to pay damages to Samsung if its arguments are later rejected in the courts.