The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been effectively banned from sale in Europe following a patent judgement in Apple’s favor in a German court.
In a session of the Regional Court of Dusseldorf, Apple was granted a preliminary injunction against the sale of the 10-inch Android tablet, including any marketing activities. The order applies to all of Europe with the exception of the Netherlands.
Apple’s complaint relates to design rather than hardware and technology patents which have been the subject of recent legal skirmishes most notably in the smartphone sector.
Patent analyst and German national Florian Mueller pointed out that the Dusseldorf court "has a reputation for being our equivalent of the Eastern District of Texas in terms of a strong tendency to favor the interests of right holders."
Half of all European patent actions are brought in Dusseldorf court. Last week Apple won a similar victory in Australia which resulted in the cancellation of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch downunder.
With retailers reporting that the sales of the week-old tablet were second only to the iPad, Apple’s patent victory has effectively killed off the firm’s major competitor. Even if Samsung appeals, the ban would remain in place until the appeal is heard which means the device will not be available for sale for at least a month.
"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 said when launching legal action against Samsung back in April.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."