Apple has done it again - after blocking rival Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, the technology giant managed, Monday, to get a preliminary injunction (or temporary restraining order) from a German court that prevents Samsung from selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the whole of Europe (excluding the Netherlands).
The Landgericht Court of Düsseldorf awarded the injunction on Monday after Apple prima facie convinced the court that the Samsung tablet may have infringed the intellectual property of iPad design (Community DesignNo 000181607-0001).
The injunction, which takes immediate effect, forbids Samsung from selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe and in case the South Korean company violates the injunction, it will be fined $350,000 for each violation. In the alternative, Samsung's management can be imprisoned for up to two years in the event of continued infringement.
Foss Patents reported The Netherlands has been excluded from the ambit of the injunction because Germany and the Netherlands have different competition laws and hence, a separate case is underway in the Dutch nation.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Bloomberg in a phone interview.
The latest injunction is a setback for Samsung in its intellectual property battle with Apple. In April, Apple complained that Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets "slavishly copy" the iPhone and iPad and it is seeking an injunction on the Samsung tablet in the U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and South Korea. Lawsuits are pending both in the courts and at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
In June, Samsung sought an injunction of U.S. imports of the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
However, the biggest blows were delivered by Apple. On August 1, Apple stopped Samsung from selling or advertising its Galaxy Tab in Australia till the Australian court rules whether or not the Samsung tablet design imitates the iPad design.
According to market watchers, Apple is worried about the success of Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets worldwide. Especially Galaxy Tab, whose price is comparable to the iPad, is thinner (only 8.6mm thick) and lighter (only 1.25 pounds) than the Apple device. It boasts of Android Honeycomb 3.1 OS, has a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1 GHz processor and a 10.1-inch HD display (1280×800 pixel resolution). The device is popular worldwide because the tablet supports Adobe Flash 10.3 and comes with a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. The iPad does not support Adobe Flash and its cameras are less powerful.
In the U.S., the Galaxy Tab is supported by carriers like AT&T and Verizon and it also comes in a Wi-Fi only version. Verizon is selling the 16GB Galaxy Tab for $529.99 while the 32GB retails for $629.99. Both comes with a two-year contract. The Wi-Fi only 16GB tablet is selling for $499.99.
Apple has the upper hand now but if the court subsequently rules in Samsung's favor, Apple could be forced to cough up huge amount as damages.