Apple Gets Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Banned In US

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Will Samsung give up and move on to newer version of the Galaxy Tab, as the 10.1 version gets banned in the US?

A US court has banned sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country while it decides on the patent dispute between Apple and Samsung.

The US District Court for the Northern District of California becomes the third court to grant Apple a preliminary injunction on the tablet, following in the footsteps of the Dusseldorf Regional Court and another in Australia.

The ban does not apply to any other Samsung product, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab II, the successor to the device in question.

Galaxy Tab injunction granted

Apple claims that Samsung infringed its design patents and copied the look of its market-leading iPad, and the case between the two is set to go to court in California on 30 July.

The Cupertino-based company has had a previous request for an injunction against the sale of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets turned down by the court. US District Judge Lucy Koh admitted at the time that although it was likely that Apple would be able to prove that Samsung had infringed one of its patents, it had not shown it was likely to defeat Samsun’s challenges to maintain the patent’s validity.

However this time round, she felt that “any further delay of the injunction is not justified” and granted one, once Apple posted a $2.6 million bond.

“Samsung is disappointed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision. We believe today’s ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the United States,” Samsung told TechWeekEurope. “Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product’s overall design. Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”

Possible redesign?

“We will take necessary legal steps and do not expect the ruling to have a significant impact on our business operations, as we possess a diverse range of Galaxy Tab products,” it added.

“At this stage of the lifecycle of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, it’s possible that Samsung decides to just take it from the market and focus on new product launches,” said analyst Florian Mueller. “But if it wanted to continue to sell it in the United States for some more time, it would simply redesign. A redesign might lead to another push by Apple for an injunction, but that’s the best way for both parties to get clarity on the scope of Apple’s design patent.”

“Apple’s enforcement of U.S. design patents and equivalent design rights in other jurisdictions already appears to have resulted in different design decisions on Samsung’s parts,” he added. “Its newer products, such as the Galaxy S III smartphone, are clearly more distinguishable from Apple’s offerings. Samsung saw that it was just going to suffer all sorts of disruptions of its business, and negative publicity, by continuing to copy Apple’s designs.”

Samsung circumvented the German injunction by relasing a modified version of the tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which featured a number of design alterations.

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