Apple is hard at work trying to get Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in the European Union, and a lawsuit happening in The Hague might be enough to block the tablet where a German lawsuit has failed.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 case rages all over the world, with Apple claiming that Samsung copied its iPad 2 and it's actively suing Samsung in multiple countries to get imports of the Korean company’s tablet banned. It was working in the European Union after an injunction was handed down from a Dusseldorf district court, banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union – until a question of jurisdiction suspended enforcement of the indictment until a hearing that takes place next week.
Another suit going forward in The Netherlands could reinstate the ban, however, according to Ars Technica. That suit could have a serious effect on Samsung’s tablets and smartphone handsets because The Hague is where Samsung’s devices enter Europe.
The Ars Technica story also mentions that suit in The Netherlands is actually broader than those against Samsung in other places:
Apple's case in The Netherlands not only concerns the EU Community Design, but is much broader in scope and much more demanding in terms of injunctive relief. In addition to allegations that Samsung copied the iPad's physical design, the complaint includes allegations of infringement of three European functional patents, including one for mobile photo management, one for interpreting touch events, and Apple's ‘swipe to unlock’ patent.
The EU Community Design registration for the iPad is the document Apple claimed Samsung violated in its German suit. Samsung could have a harder time with its devices should The Netherlands suit go against it; and that’s to say nothing of the German suit, or suits that are taking place in other places. According to Ars, Apple is suing Samsung in nine countries and 11 courts: France, Italy, U.K., Japan, The Netherlands, South Korea, Germany and Australia, as well as the U.S.So far, Apple hasn’t made much forward motion in the U.S., and the Dutch case’s ruling is expected to come down on Sept. 15. Meanwhile, even if things don’t go Samsung’s way with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as it stands, the company may have another device waiting in the wings to replace it.
Samsung has already agreed to release a different version of its Galaxy Tab in Australia in order to avoid a lawsuit with Apple. It’s even allowing Apple to examine the device for a week in order to satisfy the company that the new device doesn’t infringe any of Apple’s patents. If it already has that different device, which it refers to as the Australian Galaxy Tab model, Samsung could realistically release another tab to dodge Apple’s complaints and still maintain a foot in the market.
We’ll have to wait and see how all these cases shake out, both for Samsung and Apple. If the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is allowed to be sold as-is, it may very well be able to take a bite out of the iPad’s market share.