Sat, Aug 13, 2011 - Page 12 News List

German court rules in favor of Apple Inc

PATENTLY PROBLEMATIC:In Australia, Samsung has already agreed not to introduce a version of its Galaxy tablet computer until a lawsuit filed by Apple there is resolved


Samsung Electronics Co failed to convince a German court to hear oral arguments before issuing an injunction in favor of Apple Inc banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in most EU countries.

Samsung on July 29 filed a so-called “protective brief” as part of the dispute it has with Apple over the design of its device, the Dusseldorf Regional court said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. On Aug. 4, Apple filed a 44-page motion seeking the injunction. While judges took Samsung’s arguments into account, they ruled for Apple, the court said.

“It’s rather unusual that the court didn’t schedule a hearing before issuing an injunction even though it had received the protective brief asking for that,” said Timo Ehmann, an intellectual property lawyer in Munich. “It probably means the judges saw a case of extreme urgency and not too many factual issues in dispute.”

Apple won the injunction on Tuesday banning sales of Samsung’s tablet in all EU countries except the Netherlands.

California-based Apple contends Samsung’s Galaxy phones and tablet computer “slavishly copy” the iPhone and iPad. Apple is also seeking a court order to block sales in the US until a trial can be held on patent-infringement claims there.

In Australia, Samsung has agreed not to introduce a version of the Galaxy tablet computer until a lawsuit Apple filed there is resolved.

Samsung on Thursday filed a motion to lift the EU ban and the court scheduled a hearing in the case for Aug. 25. Samsung has said it will make further arguments in the case, the court said.

In the July 29 brief, Samsung argued the case cannot be heard under fast-track proceeding rules as Apple is unable to show the existence of an emergency. Samsung also said it will ask the EU authorities to invalidate the design rights Apple has filed for the iPad.

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