Apple has won a preliminary injunction in a German court to block Samsung from selling its flagship tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, in the European Union.
European customs officers have been ordered to remove the device from shelves and seize shipments after a patent dispute between Samsung and Apple ruled in Apple’s favour.
The ruling, which will effectively prevent sales of the Galaxy Tab in all countries in the EU except the Netherlands, comes just days after the Tab launched in the UK.
Apple sued Samsung in April this year for infringement of patents and trademarks. The firm has accused Samsung of copying the design and functionality of its iconic iPad and iPhone products in their Galaxy tablet and smartphone range.
According to a statement given to the Guardian, an Apple spokesperson said: ‘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 when companies steal our ideas.’
The news follows a similar ruling in an Australian court last week after the computer giant also won an injunction to delay the launch of the Galaxy Tab indefinitely in Australia.
Samsung confirmed today (10 August) that it would be acting immediately to lift the blockage.
A Samsung spokeswoman said: ‘Samsung is disappointed with the court's decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world.
‘We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world. This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.’