Galaxy 10.1 tablet faces sales ban in Germany
Embroiled in several patent infringement cases in many countries, South Korean electronics company Samsung is facing increasing resistance in selling its products including tablet devices and smartphones in Germany, Netherlands and Russia.
According to The New York Times, a judge in Düsseldorf, Germany, Apple’s case is strong enough to order a ban of sale of Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the country.
In a preliminary assessment, the presiding judge, Johanna Brückner-Hofmann, said, "There are a lot of alternative ways to design a tablet device, as the market amply shows."
"We think Apple’s E.U. design rights grant a medium range of protection, if not a broad one."
Earlier this month, the court had placed a pan EU ban on Samsung Galaxy 10.1 sales, but quickly lifted the ban after Samsung alleged that Apple had misrepresented the dimensions of the product in the court.
A ruling is scheduled for 9 September.
The Korean company argues that "many design features are just necessary to use if you want to produce a tablet computer."
However, the argument was not enoug to save Samsung in another unrelated case involving smartphones and Apple in Netherlands.
A Dutch court blocked Samsung from selling several smartphone models in most of Europe.
The preliminary ruling bans Samsung’s Dutch units from selling the Galaxy S, S II and Ace smartphones over similarity between screen functions of the products and those made by Apple.
However, the court allowed sale of the Galaxy Tab, saying Apple’s design rights cannot force competitors from making inferior products.
Samsung’s lawyer Henrik Timmann said, "The screen needs to be flat to avoid crumbs that could disturb usage, and corners need to be rounded so the screen won’t break should the device hit something solid."
Apple’s lawyer Matthias Koch responded saying, "We’re not sitting here because Apple wants to prohibit all kind of tablets."
"We’re here because Samsung’s Galaxy tab is the closest copy of the iPad. There is no other tablet that comes that close."
Meanwhile, a Volga-based manufacturer Simbirsk-Crown has said that Samsung cannot sell products under the ‘Galaxy’ brandname, as the Russian company holds exclusive rights to it Russia for over two years.