Apple scored a significant victory in its intellectual property battle against Samsung Electronics after a German court temporarily barred the Korean firm from selling its flagship Galaxy tablet in most of the European Union.
The court order comes a week after Samsung was forced to delay the Australian launch of its latest tablet because of a separate lawsuit alleging Samsung infringed on a number of Apple's patents. Samsung products already distributed prior to the injunction on August 9 may still be sold and the company said it does not expect an immediate impact on sales.
UK retailer Dixon's said the company has so far received no legal instructions to remove the Galaxy tablet from stores, while Telefonica Germany can continue to sell devices it still has in stores. Apple has said Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad. It has sued in the United States, Australia and elsewhere. Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc's Android software, has countersued Apple.
Intellectual property rights are granted by an agency of the European Union and can therefore be enforced on an EU-wide basis, patent-expert Florian Mueller said. Samsung's mobile unit, which includes handsets and tablet PCs, generated 30 percent of the technology giant's revenue in the second quarter.