Apple has won the latest round in its patent dispute with Samsung after a German court today upheld a temporary ban on the sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.
Apple is suing Samsung for alleged patent infringement of its iPad tablet in the Dusseldorf Regional Court in Germany. The court originally granted Apple a temporary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab across the EU on 9 August. This was lifted across the rest of the EU on appeal by Samsung, but remained in force in Germany. Samsung’s latest appeal for the ban to be lifted in Germany has now been turned down.
Samsung now has few options left, according to the German intellectual property expert Florian Mueller writing on his Foss Patents blog today. It can try for another fast track appeal against the ban in a higher regional court, which might take a couple of months. Or, it can wait for main proceedings in the lower regional court to continue.
That means the case becomes a full-blown lawsuit, not a fast proceeding, with a final ruling at the outcome. If the court upholds the temporary injunction, it becomes a permanent one. Samsung can then appeal against the final ruling. If the court does not uphold the injunction, then Samsung will be entitled to sue Apple for damages, Mueller commented.
Mueller suggested this process might take up to a year. In the meantime, the temporary injunction against the sale of the Tab 10.1 will remain in force.
He noted that the judge only referred to the ‘Galaxy Tab’ and did not specify which model. Samsung was forced to withdraw the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the IFA show in Berlin after the Dusseldorf Regional Court issued a temporary injunction against sales of the tablet in Germany on 2 September.
The implication in Mueller’s view is that: ‘Samsung won't be able to promote or sell any new products in Germany that infringe the successfully-enforced Community design for as long as the injunction is in force. In other words, if Samsung came out (hypothetically speaking) with a Galaxy Tab 9.0, it seems the injunction would apply.’
In other patent cases, Apple has won a temporary injunction against the sale of some Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range in the Netherlands/ It is also seeking a temporary injunction against sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and other Samsung products in a Californian court in the USA. A hearing is scheduled for 13 October.
In a further move, Reuters reported yesterday (8 September) that Apple had filed a suit against Samsung in the Tokyo District Court in Japan calling for a ban on the Samsung Galaxy S, S II and Galaxy Tab 7.7. Apple is seeking 100 million yen ($1.3 million) in damages, as well as the sales ban, according to a report by the Kyodo news agency.
Earlier, Samsung filed a suit against Apple in Japan in April this year.