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Apple gets Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked from sale in EU

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Wins preliminary injunction against electronics giant

Apple has stepped up its patent war, with an early victory that saw the company win a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s Android-based tablets across almost every EU country.

Ruling in Apple’s favour, a German court has granted an injunction that prevents the sale or marketing of the excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in every EU country bar the Netherlands. Customs officials have been ordered to seize shipments of the tablet, preventing new stock from reaching stores.

It all centres around Apple’s claim that Samsung is copying key parts of the iPad 2, from the design of the unit and packaging, down to key elements of the user interface.

Not happy with just the injunction, Apple’s lawyers have been asking for fines of up to €250,000 (around £220,000) for any violations and even the imprisonment of Samsung management.

“Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision and we intend 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,” said an official Samsung statement. “The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.

“We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung’s innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world,” continued the statement.

This isn’t the first legal spat between the two companies, and Samsung has already agreed to modify the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in order to sell it in Australia. Apple is now trying to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from sale in the US, as well as filing other patent claims against Samsung.

Samsung isn’t taking any of this lying down, and has its own counterclaims in progress across the world, as it statement made clear: “This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.”

For people in the UK, if you want to get your hands on a Galaxy Tab 10.1, now’s the time to buy while stocks are still available. We spoke to PC World today and a spokesman told us that the company had received “no legal instruction from Samsung to remove [the Galaxy Tab 10.1] from sale”.

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