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German court upholds Samsung Galaxy Tab injunction

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

A German court has uphold a ban on the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet in Germany, although a final ruling on the matter is scheduled to come down as soon as September 9. The injunction follows Apple’s claims that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is too similar in design and functionality to the iPad 2—Apple was originally granted an injunction on the sale of tablets throughout the European Union, but the court later reduced the scope of its order to cover only Germany.

A good deal of the proceedings in this case have centered on evidence supplied to the court by Apple, which Samsung claims Apple has deliberately altered so that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would appear more like the iPad 2. The Galaxy Tab is less square than the iPad 2, but some images supplied to the court by Apple apparently distort the image to make the Galaxy Tab’s proportions more iPad-like. Samsung also took the novel approach of citing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as prior art in the case; one scene in the movie features props that people today would interpret as tablet computers.

Apple has accused Samsung of essentially copying its iPad and iPhone produces in its Samsung Galaxy product line; the litigation in Germany over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is just one skirmish in the companies’ legal battle. Yesterday, Apple won an injunction barring imports of three Samsung smartphones into the Netherlands, which effectively amounts to an EU-wide ban on imports.

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