Apple’s persecution of Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet is bearing fruit. The Düsseldorf district court has granted a preliminary injunction against distribution of the Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the EU except for the Netherlands. Predictably, Apple has also issued similar proceedings in the Netherlands, albeit on slightly different grounds. In Germany, Apple accuses the Galaxy Tab of infringing its iPad IP and also cites unfair competition grounds.
Crucially, this case concerns Community registered design rights which offer pan-European IP protection, unlike hardware or software patents which are registered and enforced on a country-by-country basis.
The hearing has been scheduled for 25 August 2011. Samsung claims it is preparing a petition to have Apple’s Community registered design invalidated. However, the Düsseldorf district court, which reportedly hears half of all European patent litigation, has a reputation, similar to that of the Eastern District of Texas, for favouring rights-holders over alleged infringers. Samsung has already postponed the Australian launch of the Galaxy Tab and now may have to watch Apple crush its European dreams as well.