In April of this year, Apple launched a lawsuit against mobile competitor Samsung, saying that the South Korean electronics maker stole the interface elements and exterior design of iOS gadgets to make their own. Then, in June 2011, Apple sued Samsung a second time for allegedly copying the design of the iPhone 3G to make the Samsung Galaxy S.
As if that wasn’t enough, Apple successfully caused a ban on Samsung’s Australian tablet sales after suing the company for allegedly copying the design of the iPad 2 for the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Now, Apple has pulled the same maneuver with Samsung’s European tablet sales. The Regional Court of Dusseldorf has granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout Europe with the exception of the Netherlands. The judge agreed that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed on Apple’s intellectual property, copying certain characteristics of the iPad 2.
According to intellectual property analyst Florian Muller, Apple has a separate lawsuit occurring in the Netherlands.
“The exception of the Netherlands is due to the aforementioned separate legal proceeding in that country,” said Muller. “That exception relates only to Samsung’s Korean parent company, not to the German subsidiary.”
Samsung just launched the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in Britain last week, but all product must now be taken off the shelves. Some retailers noted that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was the fastest-selling tablet since the iPad 2 launched earlier this year.
“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,” said an Apple spokesman. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Samsung could appeal against the judgment, but the injunction will remain in place regardless in the meantime. Also, an appeal would be heard by the same judge, and would take about a month to be heard. While Samsung decided to countersue Apple back in April for the previous lawsuit, it is unclear if it will appeal the current judgment.
Apple was named most valuable company in the U.S. today for briefly surpassing Exxon in market value, but Android is dominating the mobile market and it seems like Apple’s answer to competition is to eliminate it entirely.
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