On Tuesday, the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court in Germany ruled against Samsung by extending a previous ban on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to all of Europe. At the same time, though, a similar appeal from Apple to ban the bigger Galaxy Tab 10.1N was denied.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban is Apple’s second win for its European design patents. In September 2011, Apple won a sales ban in Germany on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was upheld in January due to Germany’s ‘unfair competition’ laws.
Due to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction, though, Samsung decided to pull sample units of the 7-inch tablet from showcases just after the device was unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin last September.
Concerning the Galaxy Tab 7.1 sales ban, Samsung said in a statement:[quote]Samsung is disappointed with the court’s ruling. We will continue to take all available measures, including legal action, to protect our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple’s claims to ensure our products remain available to consumers throughout the European Union.[/quote]
Although this is a major win for Apple, it did not come without its losses. Apple was denied another appeal to ban sales of the 10-inch Galaxy tablet. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was made a month after the German sales ban in 2011 to get around the German injunction. The device was cleared for sale in February after the high German court noted a number of noticeable changes to the tablet’s design. Appeals from Apple to secure an injunction have since been denied. On their win, Samsung stated:[quote]Samsung welcomes the court’s ruling which confirms our position that the GALAXY Tab 10.1N does not infringe Apple’s intellectual property and does not infringe laws against unfair competition. Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.[/quote]
This is yet another legal battle between Samsung and Apple in their worldwide patent wars. The two companies are set to meet again in a high-profile California court case next week.