German court indicates Apple could lose bans on Samsung Galaxy Tabs

If the Düsseldorf court had to rule today, it would find that Samsung does not infringe on Apple's designs, a court spokesman said

Apple could be on the verge of losing the bans on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab it has won in German courts. If the Düsseldorf lower regional court were to rule now, Samsung would be unlikely to be found infringing on Apple's design rights, which would overturn earlier rulings that halted sales of Galaxy tablets, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.

Apple is after a permanent sales ban on the Galaxy 7.7, 8.9, 10.1, 10.1N and 10.1V in Germany because it claims Samsung infringes on its design rights, said Andreas Vitek, spokesman for the lower regional court of Düsseldorf. During a Tuesday hearing Judge Johanna Brückner-Hofmann said that if she had to review the case now, Samsung would not be likely to be found infringing Apple's rights, Vitek said.

Previously, several Galaxy Tabs were found to be too similar to the iPad, and Apple won injunctions against their sales. Those bans, however, were awarded during preliminary proceedings that are less thorough than the current main procedure, said Vitek. If Apple loses this lawsuit, all the decisions made in the preliminary proceedings will be overturned, and the sales bans will be lifted, said Vitek.

For the time being though, the German sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the European sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will remain in force until Brückner-Hofmann rules in this case, Vitek said. Reaching a verdict might take a while, because Samsung filed a counter-claim disputing the validity of the three design rights Apple claims Samsung to infringe, he added.

Apple declined to comment on statements made in court Tuesday. Samsung did not reply to a request for comment.

While Apple used a design right registered in 2004 during the preliminary proceedings, the company decided to change its tactics and use three newer design rights registered in 2010 for the main proceedings, said Vitek.

While Apple has had success with the older rights, the same Düsseldorf court denied Apple a sales ban on the Motorola Xoom tablet in July in a lawsuit filed over the three newer rights. Motorola in that case also filed a counter-claim, demanding that the court decide that Apple's community designs were invalid, but that claim was denied.

Samsung is disputing the validity of the three newer rights at the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union, where Apple's European design rights are registered, said Vitek. The Düsseldorf court has to wait for a decision from the registration office before it can proceed, he added.

The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office could not immediately comment on the status of the pending validity procedures.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?