Apple vs. Samsung: Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban upheld in Germany
Samsung was dealt a loss in its ongoing patent battle with Apple as the South Korean electronics maker's request to overturn a ban on the sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Germany was denied.
A Dusseldorf regional appeals court upheld the August 2011 sales injunction of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and said that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 also should be banned from being sold, according to a report on the website FOSS Patents by patent expert Florian Mueller.
Although the decision hurts Samsung, the ruling may also be a setback for Apple. The reasoning behind the court's decision wasn't because of Apple's claims that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes on the design patents for the iPad tablet. Rather, "the appeals court based its decision on a violation of German unfair competition law," Mueller reported.
The injunction against Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Germany cited Apple's design patents as the reasoning for pulling the Samsung tablet off store shelves.
In an effort to not miss out on the growing tablet market in Germany, Samsung redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and then re-released a new German version called the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which is allowed to be sold, though Apple has requested a sales ban on that product too.
The Dusseldorf appeals court ruling is the latest in an international fight between Samsung, Apple and their respective teams of lawyers. Last week, Apple was denied a requested sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Netherlands, where the two companies are locked in a patent battle.
Earlier this month, Apple filed two new patent suits against Samsung in Germany, seeking a ban on 10 Samsung phones and five tablets. Last month, a U.S. district court in San Jose denied Apple's request for a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 before a July trial on Apple's lawsuit against Samsung in that court.
In December, a temporary ban on the Samsung tablet in Australia expired in a related suit between the two tech giants. The Australian dispute is set to go to trial in March, and other suits have been filed across Europe and Asia.
While the two companies are rivals and suing to block the sales of one another's products, Samsung and Apple are also business partners. Samsung, for example, manufactures the Apple-designed A4 and A5 processors found in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPod Touch, among other components, such as flash memory, inside of many Apple devices.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: A Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet on display this month at a company showroom in Seoul. Credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg