Samsung's Galaxy products are increasingly disappearing from store shelves in Europe and Australia thanks to an intellectual property fight with Apple, say recent reports.
Last week a German court banned selling of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all of Europe except the Netherlands in a victory for Apple, which Apple accuses Samsung of imitating the "look and feel" of iPhone and iPad.
Apple also won an agreement from Samsung that the latter won't sell the newest version of its tablet computer in Australia until a patent lawsuit in the country is resolved. Bloomberg reported Aug. 2 that Apple sought an Australian injunction while Samsung agreed to stop advertising the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and not to sell the device until it wins court approval or the lawsuit is resolved.
Apple has been successful so far in the dispute as courts across the world more or less held Samsung responsible for copyright infringement of Apple products. The U.S. International Trade Commission's decision is due in the case, which will decide Samsung's Galaxy products' market future in the U.S.
"Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products," the Apple lawsuit said. There are a total of 10 claims being made against Samsung by Apple.
According to Apple's claims, almost every Android-based smartphone and tablet in the market has been more or less copied from their designs. The Android team, Google and Android OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are wading through rough waters with as many as 48 Android-related lawsuits under the scrutiny of U.S. laws.
"There's no doubt the court decision will have an adverse effect on Samsung. Samsung is clashing with Apple in many places, which could result in a temporary fall in sales and increase costs related to litigation," Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities in Seoul, told Reuters.
Intellectual property rights are granted by an agency of the European Union and can therefore be enforced on an EU-wide basis, patent-expert Florian Mueller said.
However, the court restriction wouldn't be the end of Samsung or its Galaxy line, as they have the liberty to redesign the products without infringing Apple's design, Beatweek reports.
Samsung said it would challenge the court decision. "We will rigorously defend our position," Younghee Lee, senior vice president of global marketing at Samsung's mobile business, told Reuters.