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Looks like Samsung is getting a little relief in its ongoing case versus Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) in Europe: the Dusseldorf court that last week issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 model has now suspended that ban between today and the next court date on August 25. The suspension applies to all of the EU except Germany and The Netherlands.
The news was first reported by Webwereld (translation here), which was also one of the first to notice the inconsistencies of the pictures presented by Apple to the courts when laying out its case, claiming design infringements by Samsung.
The Netherlands was never included in the original injunction, as Apple was pursuing a separate claim in a national court there.
Meanwhile, it turns out that the reason why Germany is still bearing the injunction is because Germany is the only country where the court has determined that the original preliminary junction can now apply — in other words, the decision made in Dusseldorf does not apply EU-wide as originally mandated. According to the report in Webwereld, it seems that the court cannot enforce a ban in any country except its own because Samsung operates separate trading companies in each country. Florian Mueller notes that Apple might have had to go to a court in Spain to halt EU-wide distribution. There, he writes, there is an office of internal hamonization and a designated court to deal with these matters.
Today’s conclusion was reached after Samsung filed an emergency complaint earlier today.
It is unclear at this point whether the results of subsequent hearings, on August 25 and beyond, would also only apply in Germany, or if they will be EU-wide in their judgements.
In any case, Samsung now has another nine days of legal sales in most of the EU for its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablet. Apple is shaping up to control some 70 percent of the tablet market in Europe this year, according to Forrester, but that still leaves a 30-percent window for the other players. Will all the publicity drive more people to buy the new Tab?
(Thanks Florian Mueller for the tip.)