Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 has been restricted for further sales in Europe after a German court granted preliminary injunction to Apple to block its distribution. Apple claimed that the Android-powered tablet violates its intellectual property rights.
According to Apple's claim, Samsung's Galaxy line of smart phones and tablets copied Apple design features - including the packaging and accessories. Agreeing with Apple, the German court issued orders for the Korean company to stop further sales and marketing of its products and pull its tablet from the European stores immediately. The court also issued warning to the Samsung management saying that they will be fined up to $350,000 for each violation and may face jail time if the infringement doesn't stop.
An Apple spokesman said, "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
The Samsung Galaxy Table 10.1 became available in the markets earlier this summer and according to some retailers, it had become the fastest-selling tablet since the iPad 2 launched in Britain.
Samsung said that "it is disappointed by the ban, and intends 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." Samsung also complained that the request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung and the orders were issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.
In the statement issued in response to Apple's allegations, Samsung said that "it 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 device is still available in Netherlands, but Apple intends to block the sales there as well. Intellectual property analyst Florian Muller has said that Apple has a separate lawsuit underway in the Netherlands.
It should be noted that Samsung is not the only victim falling prey to Apple's lawsuits. Apple has also filed a complaint against JAY-tech, an electronics company that manufactures digital cameras and a tablet PC device, after suing Motorola for its Xoom design. It appears that Apple is set to destroy any competitor product that bares even a vague resemblance to its designs.