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.
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.