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Innovation

German court upholds Samsung Galaxy Tab sales ban

A German court has upheld a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on the alleged infringement of a design owned by Apple.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor on

A German court has upheld a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on the alleged infringement of a design owned by Apple.

The decision was made by the Dusseldorf Regional Court on Friday and follows earlier decisions to grant a preliminary injunction, which were later upheld, meaning that Samsung cannot sell the device in Germany. An EU-wide injunction had previously been granted by the court but was later amended to only apply to Germany.

Samsung responded to the ruling with disappointment, and said it "severely limits consumer choice in Germany."

"We also believe that by imposing an injunction based on this very generic design right, this ruling restricts design innovation and progress in the industry," the company added. "Samsung will actively and immediately appeal this ruling in order to ensure that consumer choice in Germany is restored."

According to mobile patent legal expert Florian Mueller, Samsung now faces two choices.

"The preliminary injunction stays in force until it is either overturned by the Higher Regional Court in a fast-track appeals proceeding or by the (lower) Regional Court at the end of the full-blown main proceeding, which would probably take about a year," Mueller said in a blog post.

If the court then decides that the preliminary injunction was granted correctly then it becomes a permanent injunction, and Samsung will not be able to sell the device in Germany, Mueller said.

However, if the court rules in Samsung's favour, Apple will be liable for damages and Samsung will be able to sell the device. Despite this possibility, Mueller suggests that even if the court decides the injunction should not have been granted, a lifting of it would have" little commercial value, or none at all," for the current generation of devices.

"But it would be useful for Samsung with respect to future devices having the same exterior design as the currently banned products," he added.

On Monday, the court extended the injunction to the newly announced Galaxy Tab 7.7.

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