Samsung Tablet Ban Lifted in All EU Countries but Germany

Samsung is again free to sell its Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all European Union countries except for Germany, after a court in Düsseldorf changed its injunction enacted last week.

The change came down to uncertainties about jurisdiction.

"It is not clear if the court can forbid a company based in Korea to sell its products in other countries than Germany," said a spokesman at the Düsseldorf district court Tuesday.

Samsung filed an objection against the prior injunction on Monday, stressing the difference between Samsung GmbH in Germany and Samsung Korea. On Tuesday the Düsseldorf court said that while Samsung GmbH, the company's German affiliate, may not trade in Galaxy Tabs outside Germany, Samsung Korea can.

A week ago Apple confirmed that the court had granted a preliminary injunction blocking Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets across all E.U. nations, except for the Netherlands. The case is related to the design of Samsung's tablet, which Apple claims is a copy of its iPad.

Unsurprisingly, the initial injunction didn't sit well with Samsung. According to a statement from the company, it was "disappointed with the court's decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights."

However, Samsung and its tablet aren't free of legal proceedings yet. Neither Samsung in Korea nor its German subsidiary are allowed to sell the product in Germany.

The case is due back in court on Aug. 25, when Samsung is set to explain why its tablet should be allowed to go on sale in Germany, as well.

Samsung welcomed the court's latest decision to lift the ban through most of Europe.

"Samsung is fully committed to providing our innovative mobile devices to the market without disruption, and ensuring that consumers have a wider selection of innovative products to choose from," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to the opportunity to reassert our intellectual property rights at the hearing scheduled on August 25."

Meanwhile, an investigation by IDG publication Webwereld shows that at least one of the Galaxy Tab pictures that Apple provided as evidence in the case is wrong or manipulated. Photographic evidence submitted by Apple in its complaint includes a picture of the Tab that does not match with the real Galaxy Tab 10.1, Webwereld discovered.

Apple Europe declined to comment on either the court's ruling to lift the ban in most of Europe, or the Webwereld findings.

(Additional reporting by Loek Essers of Webwereld.)

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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