Apple's EU legal win could prevent all OEMs from building tablets

Apple gets an injunction against the Galaxy Tab in Europe based on some very generic line drawings.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

A German court on Tuesday sided with Apple and granted the company a preliminary injunction which blocks the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, excluding the Netherlands. But according to Nicole Scott of Netbook News, the patent could essential block ALL tablets, irrespective of operating system or maker.

Here's are images from the Community Design patent (#000181607) filed by Apple:

Here's what Scott has to say:

Take a look at the above design and tell me that doesn't look like EVERY TABLET on the market. Apple has just chosen the most competitive Android tablet on the market and taken it down. This Community Design patent by Apple has only been around since 2010 so clearly Apple didn't invent the tablet, Bert Keely, in 2000 at Comdex in Las Vegas the showed off Microsoft's vision for the Tablet PC. Look familiar? Kind of looks like the images above, how can Apple patent an entire product category? At any moment Apple could decide that any tablet is too much competition and file a suit!

I'm used to seeing pretty generic designs submitted in patent and trademark documents, but you've got to admit that those line drawings are very, very generic. But remember that it is on the basis of this that Samsung can no longer sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe.

But if Apple can get an injunction against the Galaxy Tab, what's to stop it getting similar injunctions against other Android tablets from other maker? Heck, what's to stop it going after Windows 8 tablets once they are available?

Apple seems to have a deadly weapon against tablets in the European Union, and it's not afraid to use it.

Who will be hit by an injunction next?

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