Dutch Refuse Apple Immediate Ban On Samsung Tab


Apple did not get its iPad injunction in the Dutch courts where Samsung played its Knight Ridder concept ace

Samsung showed off its defence against Apple’s accusation that the iPad design was copied and renamed the Galaxy Tab. The iPhone maker was in a European court against Samsung for the second time this week seeking a ban on sales of the Samsung tablet pending a full court hearing later in the year.

For Samsung it was its first court appearance because it was not invited to the earlier hearing. Without opposition, Apple succeeded in persuading the German court to grant an injunction banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 across all European Union countries. In the UK, Vodafone has already complied with the ruling and withdrawn the tablet from sale but still supplies the seven-inch version.

Samsung Gains Dutch Courage

For some reason, the Netherlands was not included in the ban. It has been suggested that this is because Apple brought the action in Holland’s The Hague courts before it applied to the German authorities.

For its day in court, Samsung’s legal team pointed out that there are a number of electronic devices that are flat, rectangles with curved corners and large screens. It cited the numerous digital photo frames on sale, such as the black Samsung SPF107H 10 inch Digital Photo Frame which was first stocked by Amazon in 2009 – so it actually pre-dates Apple’s design. They may also have used Microsoft’s Tablet PC designs from HP and others which appeared in 2002 – but that may be asking for an injunction from Seattle.

Knight Ridder Tablet 1994

Apple’s broad interpretation of design is a result of its function, the South Korean company said. Samsung’s team actually took along twenty alleged “prior art” examples for the court, including a 1994 “Knight-Ridder” tablet concept which can be viewed on YouTube.

In turn, Apple’s attorneys revealed market research that showed 80 percent of the people asked thought the iPad and Galaxy Tab were “identical” or “similar in general impression”.

Dismissing the Apple argument on the grounds of questionable methodology, the judge refused to give an immediate ruling. He postponed any decision until September 15, adding that if an injunction was granted it would not come into force before October 13.

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