Apple wins temporary EU sales ban on Samsung's GalaxyTab tablet

A German court sided with Apple and temporarily banned Samsung's GalaxyTab 10.1 Android tablet from being sold in the European Union (excepting The Netherlands) following a preliminary court injunction. Samsung said it was disappointed at the decision, and vowed to challenge it, the latest escalation of a multi-front patent battle between Apple and Samsung.

The German court issued the ruling after Apple accused Samsung of copying the design and functionality of its iPad product, and specifically infringing 10 separate patent areas involving data transmission and wireless technology.

An Apple spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property (IP) when companies steal our ideas."

Florian Mueller, an IP expert speaking to the Guardian, said that to win the EU injunction Apple must have convinced the German judge that it would be likely to win the main court proceedings. "A preliminary injunction is ordered only if the court believes you're likely to prevail in the main proceeding, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will," he said. "In the event you lose the main proceeding, you're liable for damages."

In response, Samsung has stated that it intends to act immediately to defend its IP rights via the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany. "We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world, a Samsung spokeswoman told the Guardian. "This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere."

This ban, which will be come as a significant setback for Samsung, will see European customs officials seize shipments of the Galaxy tablet with tens of thousands already thought to have been impounded at ports and airports.

For more:
- see this Daily Telegraph article
- see this Guardian article
- see this Reuters article

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