Yesterday, Apple was granted a preliminary injunction that prevents Samsung from importing and distributing its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet throughout the European Union, except The Netherlands, but it’s a move that comes with potentially costly and risky downsides, according to lawyers interviewed by Reuters.
Nathan Mattock, an intellectual property lawyer in Australia, where Apple secured a similar ruling last week, said: “Apple has a strategy of filing patents, getting some protection and trying to prevent other people from entering the market in the short-term. If Apple’s wrong it will have to pay Samsung a considerable amount of damages, so it’s potentially quite risky.”
However, the legal maneuvering will also help Apple cement its market share, at least in the short term, according to Andrew Milroy, a vice-president at a consultant firm in Singapore who said: “It’s a market that’s developing very fast which Apple have the lead in, so regardless of the damages they have to pay if they lose, the longer they can hold off competition the better for their business.”
In the meantime, Samsung will obviously prepare a legal case of its own, and Kimberlee Weatherall, associate director at the Intellectual Property Research Institute in Australia, told Reuters: “Samsung’s case will be a combination of ‘your patent’s not valid, even if it is valid its scope is very narrow and we’re not infringing it anyway, plus by the way you’re infringing our patent as well.’”