A German court has temporarily lifted a restriction today that was preventing Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold throughout most of Europe. The initial sales injunction was enacted last week because of a suit filed by Apple, which claimed that Samsung’s tablet was essentially a copycat to Apple’s successful iPad tablet.
According to Dutch site Webwereld, the Dusseldorf District Court has issued an interim statement allowing Samsung to again sell the Galaxy Tab throughout the EU nations, with the exception of Germany. The German court will have a formal hearing on August 25, at which time the sales injunction could return.
The timing of this news coincides with some interesting news making the rounds on Monday regarding Apple’s court filings. Again it was the Webwereld site with news, this time suggesting that Apple misled the courts by offering altered images of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. In the filed documents, the pictures of both the iPad and Galaxy Tab appear to be the same size. In reality, the Galaxy Tab uses a different-sized screen and aspect ratio than Apple’s tablet.
However, the temporary lifting of the sales injunction appears more likely to do with the court’s jurisdiction and the two actual entities that Apple named in the suit. According to Florian Mueller’s FOSS blog, the two are Samsung’s German subsidiary and the actual parent company, Samsung, which is based in South Korea. Mueller suggests that the German court can only enforce injunctions against the local subsidiary, which may not carry over to all other EU countries, and not against Samsung itself.
The German court filings follow Apple’s efforts to hold up Galaxy Tab sales in Australia, claiming that Samsung’s tablet violates 10 of Apple’s patents. The Galaxy Tab is still unavailable in Australia, although that’s due to an agreement between Apple and Samsung, but most in Europe can purchase it for at least the next 10 days.