EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction liftedCourt injunction now limited to Germany

16 August 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

An injunction against sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the EU has been eased, with the tablet now only barred from sale in Germany.

Last Wednesday a German court granted a temporary injunction against sales of the Samsung tablet after a complaint from Apple, makers of the iPad. 

Apple claimed that the design of the new tablet closely resembled that of the iPad, and that Samsung's tablet infringed its intellectual property. At the time of the court decision, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 had been on sale in the UK for less than a week.

The original injunction barred sales across the whole European Union, with the exception of the Netherlands. The court has now revised its ruling so it applies only to Germany. It is not yet clear exactly why the German court has backtracked on the decision, although a possible reason is that the local court did not have sufficient authority to ban sales and marketing outside Germany.

Watch our hands-on video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and judge for yourself how similar it is.

What is the source of the dispute?

Apple's move against Samsung is seen as the latest incident in an ongoing battle among major technology companies over patents. Patents are legal documents granting the sole right of the owner to a certain type of technology or software. Patents can be issued for a wide range of inventions, including software interfaces. 

Google recently purchased the mobile division of Motorola for $12.5bn, a move motivated by the large number of patents Motorola Mobility holds. Google's Android operating system, which powers the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, has been under fire from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle for allegedly breaching their patents.

In a recent post on Which? Conversation, Andy Vandervell, Deputy Technology Editor at Which?, raised concerns that patent disputes could lead to less choice for consumers: 'Google's squabbles with rivals are symptomatic of a much larger problem; a problem that makes it increasingly difficult for new and emerging companies to succeed, resulting in less choice for consumers.'

Christopher Christoforou, Which? tablets expert, said: 'It's good news that Samsung can sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the UK again. We've had a sample at our lab for full testing since its UK launch, and are currently finalising the results. Initial indications show it could be one of the best Android tablets so far, though we'll have to wait for the full results to see how it compares to the Apple iPad 2.'

Does the Samsung Galaxy Tab really look like an Apple iPad clone? Share your thoughts on Which? Conversation.

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