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Apple wins preliminary judgement against Samsung in tablet case

Distribution of Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe outlawed by IP infringement case

Apple has won a significant victory in a series of legal cases against Samsung which is currently preventing the distribution of the company's Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe.

The action is based on an intellectual and design patent, rather than a technical or product patent, which claims that Samsung have imitated the iPad 2 to the point of illegality. Samsung is expected to appeal against the decision.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," said an Apple spokesperson.

"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Apple is pursuing similar actions in the US, Asia and Australasia, but the current ruling, exempt in the Netherlands, takes immediate effect. Apple is also pursuing similar actions against other Android device manufacturers.

Generally, when such preliminary injunctions are granted, it means that the plaintiff has exhibited evidence which shows it is very likely to win a full case, reports Foss Patents.

The case could potentially have a knock-on effect for the tablet and smartphone market should the accusations of imitation gain further legal traction, but could still be settled out of court.

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Dan Pearson

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