Samsung suffered a huge setback earlier this week when a German district court enacted an injunction barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 anywhere in Europe. The lone exception is the Netherlands where Apple is currently trying to achieve a similar result.
In short, and effective immediately, Samsung cannot sell any tablets and must remove units for sale that currently reside in stores. This injunction follows a similar ruling from an Australian court which also precludes Samsung from selling its latest Galaxy tablet in the country.
All in all, it’s been a less than pleasant week for Samsung and an inauspicious beginning to their legal tussle with Apple.
Responding to the German court’s ruling, Samsung public relations director Kim Titus stated:
Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world.
The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.
We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung’s innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.
This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.
The fact that Samsung was given no notice, let alone an opportunity to defend itself, is undoubtedly frustrating for the Korean manufacturer. And whereas an injunction in the US is harder to attain, the rules governing such matters across Europe are decidedly different.
But lest you think Apple, or any other company for that matter, can file motions for injunctions in Europe and get competing products off the shelves, European law is structured such that if the injunction is later found to be unwarranted, the moving company must make the affected company whole for lost profits. In other words, while Apple’s motion for an injunction was granted, it runs the risk of reimbursing Samsung in a huge way if it fails to prevail at the main legal preceding. It’s believed that Apple and Samsung’s dispute before the aforementioned German court will take up to a year, so that’s potentially a lot of lost sales Samsung will have hanging over Apple should things fall in its favor.