Enforcement of Apple’s Injunction against Samsung Temporarily Lifted

Enforcement of Apple’s injunction against Samsung, which prevented the Korean manufacturer’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being imported into and sold in the EU, has been temporarily lifted while the Dusseldorf District Court determines whether it has the power to grant an injunction which covers the whole of European Union.

The injunction is still in force in Germany and the Netherlands was never affected, as Apple sought a broader injunction there. A decision on whether Samsung is able to continue to offer its tablet for sale in the Netherlands is expected to be made in September.

Apple holds a European Community Design right which covers the outward appearance of its iPad 2 tablet. Apple claimed that Samsung copied the appearance, hardware and user interface and has initiated software patent infringement claims in other jurisdictions. Apple is seeking 250,000 Euros in respect of each infringement of its Community Design rights, together with the imprisonment of Samsung executives for a period of up to two years if the infringement continues.

It was widely reported that a document forming part of Apple’s application for an injunction misrepresented the dimensions of the Galaxy Tab, showing it to be identical in terms of size and shape when it is in fact taller and narrower. However, the judge who granted the original injunction is believed to have done so on the basis of a physical inspection of both tablets rather than relying solely on the document. A deliberate attempt to mislead the court would leave the guilty party liable to criminal penalties, although it is highly unlikely that such a move was made intentionally.

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