FOSS Patents reports that Apple has been granted an expanded sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 over design infringement, with a German court issuing a preliminary injunction ruling that Samsung may not sell the device anywhere in the European Union.
A sales ban in Germany has been in effect for a number of months now under a decision related to its larger sibling, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but today’s decision extends the ban to all EU countries. At the same time, Apple lost an appeal to bar Samsung’s revised Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet from selling across Europe…
This comes just as Apple secured earlier in the month a ban on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States.
According to patent expert Florian Müeller of the FOSS Patents blog, an EU-wide preliminary injunction won’t have bearing on the July 30 trial in the U.S., but EU is a different story:
Today’s decision is still a ruling made on the fast track. It is, by definition, a preliminary decision. The final decision has not even been made by the lower court yet, and it will also be possible to appeal that one.
In the full-blown main proceeding, Apple is targeting a total of five Samsung tablets (and in a separate case, ten Samsung smartphones). While the outcome of the main proceeding is likely going to be consistent with the appeals court’s fast-track ruling, it’s legally possible that the court changes mind.
As for the United States:
Samsung will also have to decide, after the upcoming trial, which changes to the design of its Galaxy Tab line are necessary in order to avoid further infringement. The Galaxy Tab 10.1N could serve as a starting point for any designaround effort.
Samsung’s comment on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 ruling:
Samsung is disappointed with the court’s ruling. We will continue to take all available measures, including legal action, to protect our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple’s claims to ensure our products remain available to consumers throughout the European Union.
The company’s reaction to dismiss Apple’s appeal on a Galaxy Tab 10.1N sales ban was more positive:
Samsung welcomes the court’s ruling which confirms our position that the GALAXY Tab 10.1N does not infringe Apple’s intellectual property and does not infringe laws against unfair competition. Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.
Last-minute court-mediated talks between Apple’s boss Tim Cook and his Samsung counterparts fell apart because the two parties couldn’t come to terms as to the value of each other’s patents.
Apple was allegedly seeking a total of $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung while “generously” offering the Galaxy maker a royalty fee of half a cent per device to use its wireless patents in iOS devices.
Samsung on its part wanted to extract 2.4 percent on Apple’s sales based on its patented wireless and cellular technology.
Even if Apple successfully imposed a sales ban on all Galaxy tablets in the whole world, I don’t think that will have much bearing in the grand scheme of things as small inexpensive tablets take over.
Amazon is prepping to unleash half a dozen new Kindle Fire tablets and Google’s Nexus 7 is selling out. Henceforth, I don’t see how containing Samsung’s outdated tablets could stop other popular sub-$200 tablets from eating into Apple’s sales.
Feel free to share your views on the matter down in the comments.