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.

samsung galaxy tab 7 7
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

Sora Avatar
113 months ago
I love it!
Keep it coming Apple!
*grabs popcorn*
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
112 months ago
nah you're right i don't know about the laws and stuff but I am an industrial designer, concept artist, graphic designer and illustrator so I know what is stealing and what isn't.
Good for you, this discussion however is on patents and EU Community Designs. Thus there is no robbery or theft involved. Only possible verdict is infringement.

Put the two products together, take away that samsung logo even if you have to blur your eyes slightly you will see it will be hard to tell the difference. You can also do that with the box. Just take off that sammy logo and boom you have yourself an iPad clone. Not hard stuff, I don't mean to be rude but if you cannot see that it is hard to tell apart from a meter distance then you must be a rebel or something.
Again, that's not how it works. Read the actual UK ruling, it's available here :

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html

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 :

I remind myself that the informed user is particularly observant, shows a relatively high degree of attention and in this case conducts a direct comparison between the products.

[...]

There are some minor differences but to my eye there are two major differences. The most important difference between the Samsung Galaxy tablets and the Apple design is the thinness of the Galaxy tablets. The next most significant difference is the detailing on the back of each of the tablets.
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 :

To my eye the most important similarities are as follows:

i) The view from the front is really very striking. The Galaxy tablets are not identical to the Apple design but they are very, very similar in this respect. The Samsung tablets use the very same screen, with a flat glass plate out to a very thin rim and a plain border under the glass.
This is important, because he then goes to say why he didn't hold this against Samsung :

The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.
"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 :

The German and Dutch decisions
These are Community wide rights and harmony between courts of different member states on issues like this is very desirable. However I find myself in a position in which I respectfully disagree with the assessment of the Dutch Court of Appeal on Stevenson and the German Court of Appeal on Ozolins. These documents form important parts of the design corpus. Ozolins played a significant role in both decisions, especially the German decision, and Stevenson was important in the Dutch decision. Given these areas of disagreement and given their preliminary character, I will not place reliance on the German or Dutch decisions nor will I make this judgment longer than it already is by analysing those decisions in detail.
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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
113 months ago
I think that is a bit exaggerated mate. Samsung copied a lot more than just the rectangle if you look closer.
It's not exagerated when you consider that the IP in question is a rectangle with rounded corner. The document for the IP in question is 2 pages long and only has drawings, which are rectangles with nothing else :

http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001

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 :

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-09/apple-wins-ruling-for-german-samsung-galaxy-tablet-10-1-ban.html

So why would this time be any different ? Articles are light.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Winni Avatar
113 months ago
Over all this translate into Apple is running scared suing with crapents.
This. And actually only this. Other companies (like Microsoft) would sell licenses and make money on every product that their competitors sell. Apple is dumb and arrogant enough to try to build a monopoly.


This is not about protecting IP but instead they are trying to slow down competitors.
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turtlez Avatar
113 months ago
It's getting so bad that rectangle is even patented/copyrighted when used in these tech devices.

I think that is a bit exaggerated mate. Samsung copied a lot more than just the rectangle if you look closer.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hot spare Avatar
113 months ago
This is weird.. How can a 7.7 inch (with a different aspect ratio) be confused with 9.7 inch tablet?

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.

http://oami.europa.eu

I doubt if Apple launches a TV, Samsung would be gunning for it similarly based on such design.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...