Apple Wins EU Import Ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab

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Apple has been granted a preliminary injunction in a German court that bans the import and distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet throughout the European Union, with the exception of The Netherlands, where a separate legal proceeding is under way. Apple sued Samsung in the Regional Court of Düsseldorf for patent infringement, and the company accused Samsung of copying the iPad and trying to trade off of its success.

Apple vs. Samsung

The preliminary injunction comes on the heels of a similar ruling in Australia, where Samsung has agreed to delay the introduction of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet while the two companies duke it out in court.

The news was first reported by German site dpa, and an Apple spokesperson confirmed that it won the injunction with Bloomberg.

“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,” Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said in a statement to Bloomberg. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Reporting for FOSS Patents, noted patent watcher Florian Mueller, a native of Germany, characterized the Regional Court of Düsseldorf as being known for favoring patent holders the same way the Eastern District of Texas court in Marshall, TX, is known to favor them in the U.S. Apple has been on the losing end of several confrontations in that court.

He also explained that German laws on patent infringement are quite strict and that patent holders are always entitled to an injunction if they can prove infringement. As noted above, Apple’s injunction against Samsung is preliminary—the case is currently in the discovery and pleading phase, but the injunction was based on a fast-track procedure whereby Apple was able to show the courts that it was likely to prevail in its claims against Samsung.

This newest victory for Apple is just part of the company’s fight against Android, where Apple has accused Android of copying its smartphones and tablet and infringing on several patents the company owns. Apple has accused HTC, Samsung, and Motorola of infringing on its patents with their Android devices, particularly in the tablet arena. Earlier on Tuesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed to hear new patent infringement complaints from Apple against HTC.

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Comments

Nemo

What makes one wonder is how Samsung thought that it would get away with such blatant IP offenses in the U.S., Europe, and other countries that have and seriously and fairly enforce IP rights. 

And if that weren’t wondrous enough, for Samsung to engage in such blatant IP offenses that attack what is probably your biggest customer’s—Apple does about $7 to $8 billion in purchases from Samsung yearly—core businesses borders on the insane.  I suppose the thinking at Samsung was that Apple would not sue for infringement, because Samsung supplies certain important or even critical parts for several of Apple’s products.  Well, that calculation was wrong.

cb50dc

I suppose the thinking at Samsung was that Apple would not sue for infringement, because Samsung supplies certain important or even critical parts for several of Apple?s products.

Accordingly, I wonder if this will have any impact on that relationship. Would anyone care to offer any informed opinion on the likelihood and practicality of Apple seeking other manufacturers for those components?

gnasher729

Accordingly, I wonder if this will have any impact on that relationship. Would anyone care to offer any informed opinion on the likelihood and practicality of Apple seeking other manufacturers for those components?

Apple will look for a manufacturer who can build huge numbers of parts, at best possible quality and best possible price. Samsung will look for customers that buy huge numbers of parts, and pay reliably. Neither the buyers at Apple nor the sellers at Samsung care about any lawsuits that are going on, as long as Apple pays and Samsung delivers.

RonMacGuy

Hey Nemo, how’s that overactive imagination? Seems to be fairly accurate!! Thanks for your insight. It’s been very interesting reading.

Nemo

Dear gnasher729:  Your point is well taken.  To the extent that Apple and Samsung need each other—Samsung needs Apple’s billion in purchases, while Apple needs certain of Samsung’s parts—the two of them may find it impossible to effect a complete divorce, notwithstanding their IP infringement disputes.  However, the relationship is certainly strained, and each of them is looking for a new partner.

greatgazoo192

Between the two, I think Samsung will have a harder time if their relationship with Apple falls apart.  For the parts that Apple buys from Samsung, either Apple already has 2nd sources, there are 2nd sources Apple could use or there are other companies that can supply what Apple needs.  For DRAM Apple can go to Hynix, Micron, Elpida, etc. For Flash Apple can go to Toshiba, Hynix, Micron, etc. For displays Apple can go to LG, Sharp, Hannstar, etc.  To build Apple’s “A#” processors i’m sure TSMC (already rumored to be running silicon for Apple), IBM, Intel, Global Semiconductor and others would love to get that business.
In Samsung’s case, if Apple bails and is successful in their legal proceedings against Android manufacturers, Samsung is going to be sitting on a whole lot of underutilized manufacturing capacity in many divisions.

skipaq

This is yet another legal blow against Samsung and Android. As these setbacks add up, the decision makers at Samsung and other companies have to factor in the potential costs of this line of business. At some point the risk becomes too high.

If these legal decisions hold up, Samsung will have to kill this product. Do they come out with another Android tablet? Do they partner with Microsoft or some other? Do they go it alone with their own OS? Each of these also has risk.

They could also just get out of this market for the time being and patch things up with Apple.

daemon

@Nemo

I think Apple has already severed it’s supply relationship with Samsung. The most recent earnings call from Samsung indicated component part sales were down (not hard to derive the loss of Apple’s business from that since they couldn’t keep up with demand when they had Apple’s business) and that they anticipated sales to be lower for the foreseeable future.

Also the significant delay in the iPhone 5’s debut is clear evidence of Apple’s problem with securing alternate parts.

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