German court reduces EU-wide Galaxy Tab ban; Concern for worldwide precedent

Summary:While the Galaxy Tab ban across Europe is lifted, Germany is still banning the tablets, with it threatening to set precedent in other countries.

A German court has upheld a ban issued last month on selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Germany.

The court banned the sale of the device in the country, after allegations made by Apple said that the device mimicked the look and feel of the iPad, citing the "minimalist, modern form" of the two competing products gave a "clear impression of similarity".

Last month's decision led to a preliminary Europe-wide injunction, but it was later lifted amid concerns about the court's power in imposing such a broad embargo.

Samsung had challenged the original continent-wide injunction, telling CNET that it had "no idea" Apple was seeking an injunction.

Samsung and Apple's bitter legal scuffle is one of many currently ongoing, seemingly connected by the Android platform. Though Android does not appear in the case, the mobile operating system seems to be the gravity that holds it all together.

Apple really is the thorn in the side of Samsung at the moment; a competitor it wants to clearly wants to kill, but to cause it pain in the process.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is currently reviewing whether to block the imports of some Samsung phones and tablets into the United States.

Meanwhile, a court in the Netherlands banned three Samsung phones following an Apple suit, for which Samsung filed a counter-suit to prevent the blocking. The case there continues.

The ongoing patent spat continues, with Apple suing Samsung over patents relating to design and physical attributes, whilst Samsung is counter-suing Apple for allegedly infringing wireless networking patents.

One worry for Samsung is that the victory in Germany could be used as case precedence around the world.

Samsung already has battles to fight across Europe, as well as the United States, Asia and Australia. Only this week, Apple filed a suit against Samsung in Japan, spreading the cases further across the world.

But if Apple can succeed in Germany, the worry is that it could perpetuate further victories around the world.

Related content:

Topics: Apple, Legal, Samsung, Tablets

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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