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German court upholds injunction against Samsung

posted 9 Sept 2011, 07:43 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 Sept 2011, 07:46 ]
A German court upholds an injunction requested by Apple to ban the sales of Samsung Galaxy tablets in the country, which Apple says copies their iPhone and iPad devices.

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 9, 2011) REUTERS - A German court upheld an injunction on Friday (September 9) sought by Apple Inc barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Germany, marking a victory for the U.S. company in its battle across the globe with its South Korean rival.

However retailers such as German consumer electronics chain Media Markt will still be able to sell the device, if they are getting rid of existing stock or obtaining new supplies from the South Korean group's parent Samsung International.

"One can't say that the judgment went entirely in Apple's favour. The court only partly upheld the injunction of August 9. The court fully upheld the injunction as far as Samsung Germany is concerned. As far as Samsung South Korea is concerned, the injunction is restricted to Germany," Peter Schuetz, a spokesperson for the Duesseldorf court said.

Samsung, which can object to the decision, has been locked in a battle with Apple over smartphone and tablet patents since April. The Galaxy devices are seen as among the biggest challengers to Apple's mobile products, which have achieved runaway success.

In a global intellectual property battle, Apple has claimed the Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad and has sued the Korean company in the United States, Australia and Korea as well as in Europe.

"The court described the product according to its physical characteristic, this includes a flat screen, a centralised user-pad, a thin form, rounded edges and a display with 90 degree edges," Schuetz said.

Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc's Android software, has counter-sued Apple.

On Thursday, Apple filed a suit against Samsung in Japan, seeking to ban sales of some of its gadgets there.

Traders at Germany's stock exchange said they didn't think the ruling would stop Samsung in the long run.

"Today's court ruling is a small victory and time-saver for Apple. For Samsung it means that internationally the company will sooner or later assert itself whether or not the legal fights continue. A competing product from Samsung will enter the market and Apple can only try to delay this," Oliver Roth from Close Brothers Seydler AG said.