Apple has scored a major victory as a German court has granted a preliminary injunction against the distribution of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the entire European Union, with the exception of The Netherlands.
FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller reports that Apple already has a lawsuit open against Samsung in The Netherlands. Apple is suing Samsung on a worldwide scale over patent infringement related to the 10.1-inch tablet's design as Apple argues that it looks too similar to the iPad.
Note that this is only a preliminary injunction. While it will take immediate effect in Germany, there is the possibility it could take longer in other countries.
Although Apple's complaint hasn't been published publicly yet, here is what has been made public, according to Mueller:
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.
This is a huge blow to Samsung as the international market was the best hope for stronger Galaxy Tab sales. With Europe out of the game, at least for the near future, it's going to have a lot trouble making any kind of profit off this device -- if that ever even happens.
It's also obvious that Apple is going to take up this lawsuit in every single country in the world if it has to in order to block the Galaxy Tab 10.1 forever.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company recently garnered another win against Samsung in Australia, where the Android-based tablet is being temporarily blocked from promotion and sale.
However, Samsung Australia released a statement last week stating that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 "will be released in the near future" because Apple filed a complaint against a "variant that Samsung Electronics had no plans of selling in Australia." (Meaning, the U.S. version.)