In less lovey-dovey Apple news, its legal battle with Samsung in the European Union continues on like any other day.
Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann found that Apple's intellectual property rights are probably strong enough to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. The catch is that this ban is now unlikely to extend to the rest of the E.U. as Apple previously wished.
"In the court’s view, Apple has a case to keep" the German ban, Brueckner-Hofmann said at the hearing today. "There are a lot of alternative ways to design a tablet device, as the market amply shows. We think Apple’s EU design rights grant a medium range of protection, if not a broad one."
She added that the German court might not actually have the jurisdiction to issue an E.U.-wide band as Samsung’s German unit is independent. That means the court can't assume to claim jurisdiction for both the local subsidiary and the parent company.
A ruling is scheduled for Friday, September 9.
Nevertheless, this could still go very badly for Samsung. FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller writes that Apple probably has this in the bag no matter what:
It also seems that the court isn't impressed by claims of Apple having misled the court with the photos it presented in its complaint. At some point she told both parties' lawyers to discuss that kind of matter outside but the court doesn't seem interested in it. If the judge really had been interested in a face-saving exit strategy, she might have claimed that she felt she was misled. But that judge appears to be firmly on Apple's side and considers the Galaxy Tab 10.1 an iPad rip-off.
Yesterday, a court in The Netherlands cracked down on Samsung's Galaxy S and Ace smartphones, handing down an injunction so that these devices cannot be sold throughout most of western Europe if certain changes aren't made within the next seven weeks. However, Apple hasn't done enough of its homework and still needs to follow up on some of patent applications in over a dozen countries. Thus, that ruling wasn't too bad for Samsung.
However, at least one other Galaxy Tab is expected to show its face in Germany next month. Samsung has just revealed that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will be given a formal introduction at IFA in Berlin in September.
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