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.

Related stories

Samsung acquires VR studio VRB

Gear VR maker reportedly paid $5.5 million for developer of The Launch, VRB Home

By Brendan Sinclair

Future iOS updates could end support for 32-bit apps

Fresh warnings in last iPhone and iPad update

By Christopher Dring

Latest comments (14)

Alan Pierce Programmer, Digital Delight6 years ago
A rectangular tablet? OMG!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Disgraceful Apple. How is the iPad vrs Galaxy Tab, any different from the iPhone vrs every-other modern smart-phone?

The software and interface is significantly different, as is the hardware. Of course its still rectangular, has a screen, and can be touched - maybe thats enough :P. How I look forward to the importing of my Galaxy Tab, and the demise of Apple...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Lee Walton Co-Founder & Art Director, No More Pie6 years ago
Immitation is surely the highest form of compliment?

Strange that no car tyre manufacturers sue other car tyre manufacturers... I mean surely, Pirelli make a circular black ring of rubber and so do Goodyear- how dare they!! We need triangular, square, star-shaped tyres etc. Otherwise how will consumers tell them apart?! The copying is blatant and must stop....
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (14)
John Donnelly Quality Assurance 6 years ago
On a tire its more the brand that has the value rather than the shape/look of it.
For most people they dont care about tires but consumer electronics where a products casing is part of its wow factor or identity is an issue.

Apple want to protect the design so you can see someone with one and think 'O look there is someone with an Ipad' so you keep the brand in your head.

I think that in some ways its a sign of the times where branding is sometimes more important than the phsical product at times.
But a company must make effrots to protect its product identity or they lose the abality to do so in the future so Apple probally need to take this action least everyone starts to make IPad clones rather than rectangular shaped touch screen tablets that make look somewhat alike but yet has little differences.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I don't think it's a matter of "brand". Sounds to me like a matter of "protecting market share" for Apple.
Their products are mid-high priced, so they're ok as long as "you" don't include in your tablet quite every feature they have in iPad - but significantly cheaper.
Especially during "crisis times" that could potentially annihilate Apple's market share.

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Neil Hall Senior Lecturer in Games Animation, Teesside University6 years ago
Let them do it. It might make the other manufacturers come up with better ideas of their own instead of just following Apple.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Kessia Thomas Studying 3D Computer Animation, University of the West of Scotland6 years ago
Bring your prices down in line with the Androids then Apple then I think you will earn the right to complain. And to be quite frank, features wise the Androids win hands down in terms of connectivity and expandability.

@Niel um I think you'll find Samsung did the tablet thing first with the Q1. Admittedly it wasn't rectangular and touchable etc but Apple doesn't have exclusivity over the concept.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Donnelly Quality Assurance 6 years ago
Doug, the dispute is over the design and look of the unit, not its features or hardware.

While there are patent disputers over the technology behind some phones going on with Apple and others in this case none of those are a factor.

It makes this more like a trademark than a copyright dispute
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jonathan Doyle Writer 6 years ago
@John I was walking down the road the other day reading my B&N nook. Just a wee e-reader but the gaggle of kids going the other way started pointing. "Look at him, he's got an iPad"

My nook does not look like an iPad but the brand identity has been established. Going against Samsung over "rectangular, black and you poke it" feels wrong.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Baker Game Designer, Ubisoft6 years ago
I think Apple can suck my big toe.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Not sure I see the value in bashing anyone trying to protect there IP rights, especially on a gaming industry website. Valuing originality and protecting creative work whether it be a musician an engineer and even, hesitation, Apple, can only be a good mantra to uphold. No?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Laura Roberts Manager 6 years ago
Steve Jobs has managed to retain his contrived anti-establishment image that began with clever branding done by the great ad agency Chiat/Day in the 80's. Advertising is a powerful thing indeed, and people still do not view him or judge Steve Jobs as they do Bill Gates. I think they are two peas in a pod.
I was just in Verizon's store 2 days ago looking at the Galaxies, and they did not look like ipads to me. They are super thin and maybe that's what bothers Apple, they want all droid tablets to look ugly like the Xoom. If Samsung had slapped a big fat picture of an Apple on it, that would be a clear violation of IP, but to me this is akin to saying only Apple can have a thin white laptop and everyone else has to manufacture laptops that look like big chunky black thinkpads from the early 90s...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Stefano Ronchi Indie Game Developer 6 years ago
@ Jonathan: you were brave, I'm surprised those little kids didn't mug you instead! Sounded like they were marking you -but I guess one of em spotted that it wasnt an ipad, so you got away with it ;P
Yea I was thinking about let's say why they didn't sue HTC or whatnot, but I guess it's more the case that they are the first with the pad -but weren't they the first with the iphone? Oh well: they've got 60billion in reserves, gotta spend it on something!!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 6 years ago
The Galaxy 10.1 look strikingly like an ipad2 - at least from the front.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.