German Court Suspends Galaxy Tab Injunction In The Apple-Samsung Case

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Hope you’ve got some popcorn and a German law book at the ready because this back-and-forth between Apple and Samsung only gets better and better. Today, the preliminary injunction banning Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the EU has been partially lifted. Now before you jump to the same conclusions I did, let me say that this suspension has nothing to do with the false evidence discovered yesterday within Apple’s complaint. At least, that’s not the reason the Dusseldorf regional court gave for the lift.

Instead, a court spokesman said that questions arose over whether or not a German court has the right to ban a company based in South Korea from selling its product throughout the European Union, reports the Wall Street Journal. The injunction suspension is only in effect until the August 25 appeal hearing, during which Samsung will present its argument to reverse the original ruling. Unfortunately, things won’t change much for German customers — the ban is still underway within Germany. The rest of Europe will be able to grab a GalTab as long as it comes through the Korean parent company, but Samsung’s German unit will still be banned from selling the device throughout the EU.

According to FOSS Patents, patent infringement cases must be handled by each individual European nation, whereas there are intellectual property rights and trademarks that can be issued by an agency of the European Union. Those IP rights can then be enforced across the entirety of the EU, as is the case with Apple. Apple’s original complaint was based on its own intellectual property right, Community Design 003781832, which you can find after the break.

The German court system tends to lean more on the side of the right holder than the alleged infringer, so Apple already knew it had a pretty good chance of winning the injunction. Because its complaint was based on an IP right granted by an EU agency (rather than a patent issued by a national patent office), Apple also knew that the injunction would reach beyond Germany to the whole of the EU. In fact, the company only excluded the Netherlands because it has an even broader case to present there in mid-September.