July 24, 2012

Apple Wins Ban On Galaxy Tab 7.7, Loses Against 10.1N

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Here´s an interesting one“¦Apple has just been awarded a ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Europe, even though they lost an appeal to ban the larger, 10.1N.

In a split decision, the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court banned Samsung´s Tab 7.7 in all EU countries, but said the Galaxy 10.1N “does not infringe” on Apple´s patents. Samsung created the Galaxy Tab 10.1N last December in response to a previous call from Apple to ban their similarly titled Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.

The smaller of the two Galaxies had been banned in Germany in September 2011. Today´s ruling simply expands this ban to all 27 member states of the European Union, saying the Tab 7.7 infringes on Apple patents dating back to 2004.

"Samsung is disappointed with the court´s ruling. We will continue to take all available measures, including legal action, to protect our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple´s claims to ensure our products remain available to consumers throughout the European Union,” said Samsung in a statement to The Verge.

The German court stuck to their February decision, however, saying Samsung has done enough to get away from Apple´s patents with the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

Samsung had to go back to the drawing board after losing a September 2011 case in which the German court ruled the Tab 10.1 looked too much like Apple´s iPad, placing a ban on the tablet. In order to get around the ban, Samsung put a frame on the Tab which intrudes ever so slightly onto the glass front on the left and right sides. A subtle change, but an important one nonetheless, as Apple´s edge-to-edge glass design is critical to their European design.

Thus, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N was born and, having appeased the courts, was released in Germany in December. Apple was not so pleased and called for another ban against the newly redesigned Tab. The German court struck down Apple´s requests, saying the "the Galaxy Tab 10.1N now sufficiently differs from the form Apple has registered as a design right."

This court decision could conflict with another recent decision in the UK, wherein a London judge refused a ban against Samsung´s Galaxy Tab 10.1, saying the Korean Tablet isn´t “as cool.” Apple was then told to place an advertisement in British papers and on Samsung´s UK website, saying the company does not, in fact, copy Apple´s products.

“Samsung welcomes the court´s ruling which confirms our position that the GALAXY Tab 10.1N does not infringe Apple´s intellectual property and does not infringe laws against unfair competition,” said  Samsung spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

“Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."

Apple and Samsung´s global Battle of the Platforms will continue in Australia in the coming weeks, while their U.S. showing will begin on July 30th. The two companies are also continuing their row in the UK and Germany.