The never-ending battle continues, but now in Düsseldorf! The Dusseldorf’s Higher Regional Court has decided to ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 sales across the whole European Union! That’s some bad news for Samsung, considering the fact that it is one of the most powerful and feature rich tablets Samsung has ever had on the market. Yet, it appears that the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a modified version of the original one, will still hit the sales. Here’s the outcome that has been announced at Oliver Voss‘ tweeter account, who is as editor of ‘Wirtschaftswoche’:
- The appeals court upheld the lower court’s denial of a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a modified version of the 10.1-inch tablet that Samsung’s designers and lawyers jointly created in order to steer clear of violation of Apple’s asserted rights.The appeals court had previously affirmed a preliminary injunction against the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, identifying a violation not on the basis of Apple’s asserted Community design (the EU equivalent of a U.S. design patent) but under German unfair competition law. As a result, the geographic scope of the decision was limited to Germany.
- Apple succeeded on another count. It won a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 7.7 on an EU-wide basis. It was previously already able to enforce the Galaxy Tab 10.1 decision against the Galaxy Tab 7.7, which has the same design but a smaller form factor (under German law, this is called a “kerngleicher Verstoß”, or “violation sharing the same core”). But with the appeals court’s decision, it can now also prevent Samsung’s Korean parent company (and, as a result, its different international subsidiaries) from selling the Galaxy Tab 7.7 anywhere else in the EU. Today’s decision formally excludes Germany, but that’s for the reason I explained.The lower court had originally entered an EU-wide preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 affecting not only Samsung’s German subsidiary but also its Korean parent company and, as a result, the Samsung group as a whole. It then modified that order so as to apply only to the German subsidiary, holding that Apple had not proven that the Korean parent company has an “establishment” in Germany. The appeals court, however, disagreed and found (already in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 decision) that Samsung’s German subsidiary is effectively an establishment of the Korean parent company, even though it formally claims to be an independent legal entity.
This decision, however, is only preliminary and may, or may not affect the final outcome, though the final results don’t look very promising in this case. On the bright side, this whole thing happening in the EU will certainly not affect the US Trial that starts on Monday, but, keeping in mind that Apple has its targets locked on more than five Samsung tablets and ten smartphones, it will hardly be an easy battle.