Samsung suffered yet another major blow in its patent battle against Apple today, as the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany upheld the preliminary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, reports FOSS Patents.
The preliminary injunction was first granted last month by the German court, which found Samsung’s tablets closely resembled Apple’s designs. It initially banned sales of the tablet across other countries in Europe, but that ban was eventually lifted in most countries.
As FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller points out, today’s news means that Samsung won’t be able to keep fighting the injunction in the Düsseldorf Regional Court, but it can appeal the case in a fast-track proceeding at the Higher Regional Court. With that plan, the injunction could be lifted within a few months.
Additionally, the main proceeding of Apple’s case against Samsung will continue automatically in the Regional Court. While slower than a fast-track proceeding (it could take a full year), Samsung could still appeal the outcome of the Regional Court’s final ruling. But if the main proceeding rules in favor of Apple, the injunction will become permanent. On the other hand, if the court rules in favor of Samsung, Apple will be held liable for damages.
For now, Samsung won’t be able to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 within Germany, and its German branch won’t be able to sell the tablet to other EU countries (Mueller says that, in practical terms, that means nothing, since they get their tablet stock from elsewhere). Samsung was also forced to remove its Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the IFA consumer electronics show floor last week due to a new injunction.
“The way the judge reportedly pronounced today’s decision, Samsung won’t be able to promote or sell any new products in Germany that infringe the successfully-enforced Community design for as long as the injunction is in force,” Mueller wrote. “In other words, if Samsung came out (hypothetically speaking) with a Galaxy Tab 9.0, it seems the injunction would apply.”