Apple wins Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban in Europe

A German court decision could prevent European consumers from buying one of Samsung's most popular tablets.

By Benzinga Jul 24, 2012 10:59AM
By Louis Bedigian

Apple (AAPL) has won a preliminary injunction against primary competitor Samsung in the ongoing battle surrounding iPad copycats.


Apple has continuously claimed that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes on the design of the iPad, and as ZDNet report, a German court seems to agree. The new ruling does not impact the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a larger Samsung-developed tablet that another court had previously ruled did not infringe on Apple's designs.


While design patents can be enforced across all European Union nations, ZDNet reports that there is one hurdle for Apple to overcome. In the United Kingdom, a High Court judge ruled that Samsung did not infringe on Apple's designs. In the ruling, Judge Colin Birss reportedly said Samsung tablets  were not as cool as the iPad. The judge further told Apple that it should publish ads announcing that its South Korean competitor did not copy the iPad's design.


While, as ZDNet says, it remains to be seen which ruling takes precedent in banning Samsung's products, both Apple and Samsung are left with victories that may or may not prove to be helpful in gaining an edge over the competition.


However, even the best of victories can be overturned. Last November, an Australian court lifted a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that was imposed by a lower court. Three months later, Apple paid $5 million to settle a case with Elan Microelectronics Corp. This year, Apple parted with another $60 million to settle a trademark dispute in China.


In addition, a few Chinese companies sued Apple for patent infringement.


Though it did not receive much media attention, Apple's former Chief Patent Counsel Richard Lutton Jr. left the firm in July 2011. The reasons for his departure were unclear, but could it have something to do with the overwhelming number of cases that plagued the company over the last 12 months?


From a settlement with Nokia (NOK) and numerous battles with HTC to a number of disputes with Samsung, Apple is easily one of the most litigious corporations in technology manufacturing.


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