Back in April when it was just a bunch of harsh words and vicious threats, the beef between Samsung and Apple was pretty entertaining. But things are only funny until someone gets hurt, and this time it’s Europe that will feel the pain. In its never-ending tiff with the South Korea-based Samsung, Apple won a temporary injunction to block sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 within the entirety of the European Union, minus the Netherlands.
What’s weird is that Samsung seems to have had no idea any of this was going down until it was too late. Specifically, the order was given “without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung,” according to Samsung spokesman Kim Titus, who confirmed with Bloomberg. Apparently this is pretty normal in Germany — plaintiffs must only prove that infringement occurred to get an injunction rolling, either preliminary or permanent, with no requirement to inform the other party. However, the court often only grants a preliminary injunction (like this one) when it believes that a subsequent permanent injunction will be granted, as well. If it’s not and Apple loses, the Cupertino-based company will most certainly owe damages to Samsung.
According to German news service dpa, the injunction is entirely related to design and intellectual property right, rather than software- or hardware-related patents. Apple made it clear long before anything went down in Europe that it wasn’t pleased with the look and feel of the GalTab 10.1, and even went so far as say that Samsung copied Apple-style packaging, too. The word “slavishly” comes to mind. But there’s still a little sliver of hope for our European friends who’ve been just dying to play around with Samsung’s 10-inch slate. Galaxy Tabs still in stock will continue to sell until the current inventory is gone. So if you need one, just leave now. Don’t even keep reading.
I mean it… Go!
Anyway, Samsung has responded to the injunction, promising to “act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world. [We will] take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung’s innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.”
Meanwhile, Apple seems to have moved on to yet another competitor, reports SlashGear. Motorola and Apple have been entwined in litigation for the past few months, but only after digging into the Galaxy Tab news was it uncovered that Apple has already filed a complaint in Europe regarding the design of the Honeycomb-powered Xoom. Since Samsung had no idea the injunction had gone through, it’s pretty likely that Motorola is only becoming aware of this now, as it spreads across the web. Speculation suggests that Apple is going straight for a permanent injunction with Motorola, since the Xoom has been around long enough to warrant it.