Apple has won a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab fondleslab across almost all of the European Union.
The Samsung tablet went on sale in Britain just last week.
According to a Google Translation of a report from German news agency dpa, the Regional Court of Dusseldorf has granted Apple an injunction against the sale and marketing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 everywhere in Europe save the Netherlands.
Samsung can appeal, but until a motion is heard, the injunction will take effect. The Jobsians have launched a separate suit against the South Korean manufacturer in the Netherlands.
Apple won the German injunction based on a claim that the Galaxy Tab infringed on a European "Community Design" – a legal right to a design that spans the EU – related to the iPad 2 (number 000181607-0001). The Jobsians insist that the Samsung tablet copies parts of the hardware, the user interface, and even the packaging for the latest Apple fondleslab. In other countries, Apple has sued Samsung claiming patent infringement.
With its German suit based on the Community Design, Apple seeks fines of up to 250,000 euros (roughly $350,000) for each violation or, if the alleged infringement continues, imprisonment of Samsung management for up to two years.
Apple reportedly won a similar injunction against the Galaxy Tab in Australia earlier this month. But Samsung has said that contrary to reports of an injunction, it reached an agreement with Apple not to sell the US version of the Galaxy Tab in Oz. The South Korean manufacturer has apparently agreed to modify the tablet before it comes on sales Down Under.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the second generation of Samsung's tablet. The first incarnation – which includes a 7-inch display and a phone-centric version of Google's mobile operating system – arrived in the US late last year. Apple has also sued Samsung over its Android-based Galaxy S smartphones, and the two companies are battling in courts across the globe, from South Korea to California to Germany. ®