Samsung beats Apple on a legal technicality

But, the battle over whether Samsung's Galaxy Tab violates Apple's iPad design in the European Union is far from done.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Don't start the celebration yet, but Samsung, in a technical ruling over Apple, can once more sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union (EU). The battle over Samsung's Galaxy Tab violating Apple's design for the iPad is far from done though.

As reported in the Dutch technology news sites Webwereld, Samsung had filed an emergency complaint that the German court overstepped its power to impose a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in other EU countries (Dutch site). Samsung argued that the German court can not decide whether the Korean company had the right to prohibit sales in, say, Italy. The judge, for the time being, has agreed to update the ex parte injunction so that the Galaxy Tab can once more be sold in the EU except for in Germany.

Personally, I never thought Apple's suit against Samsung on the design resemblances between the two tablets had a leg to stand on. That is a matter that will be finally decided by a higher court.

Apple, however, may find winning to be far harder the second time around. That's because it appears that, by design or mistake, Apple's visual 'evidence' that the Galaxy Tab's design was almost identical to that of the iPad had been doctored to make the resemblance closer than it actually was.

In either case, Apple should have a heck of a time winning again. Florian Mueller, a blogger who follows software patent news closely, thinks "Samsung has a pretty good chance that this temporary partial suspension will result in a partial reversal of the preliminary injunction decision at next week's hearing."

In short, we both think that, in the short term at least, you'll soon be able to buy the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe again.... unless you live in Germany. In the long run, I think the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be made available throughout the EU.

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