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.
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.
The appeals court did not, however, find in Apple's favor regarding the Galaxy Tab 10.1N that Samsung released with a tweaked design to skirt around an injunction on the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. That design was a product of close collaboration between Samsung's designers and lawyers in order to address the court's findings of design infringement in the original model.
The report notes that these rulings are still preliminary, with Apple still pushing forward on two separate cases against Samsung in the German courts covering a total of five tablet and ten smartphone models.
Top Rated Comments
Keep it coming Apple!
Again, that's not how it works. Read the actual UK ruling, it's available here :
You can't for one, remove distinctive features to then claim infringement. All features and designs are considered, from all angles covered by the IP in question. In the UK decision, this led the judge to the following consideration :
So as the judge puts it, the tablets have distinctive features seperating them from one another. Infringement is about causing confusion in the user to appropriate sales that are meant for your competitor through making your users believe your product is the same. The judge covers this by pointing out that his obersvation of the products is based on the informed and attentive caracteristique of the typical user.
Now, he does state what you seem to be stating :
This is important, because he then goes to say why he didn't hold this against Samsung :
"The family". This ruling contains close to 50 examples of designs that are very similar, like the Galaxy Tab, to Apple's front design, which is covered by the '607 registration. The problem for Apple ? These design examples existed prior to Apple's 2004 registration filing. This means that Apple's design is not novel. It is part of a great family of design and as such, Samsung is not "copying" Apple here, they are simply using a functional design that has become synonym with tablet design.
Thus the similarities are part of some "design corpus" as he puts it, while the distinctive elements that differentiate the tablets are numerous and different enough to claim non-infringement of Apple's design. IE, Samsung built a tablet like all tablets before it, and made it in their own Samsungy style.
The Judge in the UK specifically talks about the German and Dutch decisions, and says that he did read and consider them in his own ruling, but found his disagreement to trump their findings :
All things again you should consider, read, understand before making the inflammatory comments you are making and the assumptions about people being "rebels or something". With this, I think I'm done with you however. You don't seem to be the kind of poster that's actually open to discussing this in an objective way.
The injunction is based on this design, which can frankly apply to a bunch of devices, and a ton of prior art if other courts are to be believed. Only Germany is granting "preliminary injunctions" (note this is not a verdict of infringement yet, these things have yet to go to trial).
EDIT : About the EU wide bad, didn't the German court run into an issue last time it tried a EU wide ban ? The problem was related to the fact that the design '607 was filed for and granted in Spain :
So why would this time be any different ? Articles are light.
In general, you are absolutely right. But in this case, it never even was about protecting "intellectual property" (that legal phrase alone is as idiotic as it gets), it was purely about registered design.
I think that is a bit exaggerated mate. Samsung copied a lot more than just the rectangle if you look closer.
If this is true, why not also ban the 5.3 inch Galaxy Note which also has same shape? Galaxy Note also has same design -- just smaller compared to 7.7 inch Tab. What is the justification that 7.7 inch gets banned, but not it's smaller sibling? Both are covered with glass with black border? Only difference is that it has a S Pen and can make calls. Making calls is irrelevant here as it makes no difference to form factor of the device.
So, (if) tomorrow Apple launches a TV, can Samsung apply for a ban of iTV because that would also be rectangular with thin bezel? I have checked the EU Trademarks and Community designs site, and Samsung already seemed to have covered every possible TV design registration.
I doubt if Apple launches a TV, Samsung would be gunning for it similarly based on such design.