(CN) – A German court has granted Apple a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet anywhere in the European Union except the Netherlands.
The ruling, which is only available in German, comes less than a week after Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 debuted in the United Kingdom.
Apple claims the tablet violates an iPad-related European Community Design. The claim centers on the device’s appearance, rather than operation.
The community-design ruling by the Düsseldorf district court is binding throughout the EU. The Netherlands was excluded from the suit because Apple is pursuing a separate action against Samsung there.
Samsung was not notified about the request for injunction and was not given an opportunity to present evidence in opposition, a standard practice in German courts.
German patent blogger Florian Mueller said Apple does not need to demonstrate the same standards of harm required for a preliminary injunction in the United States. If Apple does not prevail in the main proceeding, the company is liable for damages stemming from the preliminary injunction
Samsung has reportedly struck back with its own lawsuit, docketed for hearing on Aug. 17.
“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,” Samsung said in a statement. “We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung’s innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.”
Incidentally, Apple is Samsung’s second largest consumer of chips and displays, with iPhone components alone accounting for 4 percent of Samsung’s $142 billion of annual sales.
Apple is also pursuing similar cases against Nokia and HTC.