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Apple wins permanent ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany

by Phil Hornshaw

In the latest of Apple’s blows against Samsung and a host of its mobile devices, a temporary injunction against Samsung in Germany has been made permanent, keeping the Korean device maker’s tablet from being sold in the country.

A district court in Dusseldorf, Germany, ruled Friday that Samsung can’t sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country because it looks too much like Apple’s iPad, according to a story from PCWorld. The ruling also precludes Samsung Germany from selling the device in other European Union, although Samsung’s other divisions are still free to sell devices in other EU countries.

Apple previously won a preliminary injunction against Samsung during an earlier patent infringement hearing, which the Dusseldorf court had extended to the rest of the European Union. But a dispute over jurisdiction cancelled the injunction for the rest of the EU.

The ruling in Germany is the latest strike in Apple’s battle against Samsung. The iPad maker has lawsuits against Samsung in several countries spanning several devices, including the U.S., Australia and The Netherlands, where Apple won another injunction against the company. That one is for several of Samsung’s smartphones that Apple alleges infringe on its patents for the iPhone, and it could have greater effects on Samsung’s European business, since The Netherlands is the home of its European headquarters.

Apple is taking the battle to other locations as well. Last week, Mashable reported that Apple had started legal proceedings against Samsung in Japan, targeting its Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones, and its Galaxy Tab 7, the seven-inch variety of its tablet. Here’s a quote from Mashable:

In addition to the sales ban, Apple is also seeking 100 million yen ($1.3 million) in damages. According to Kyodo news agency, the first hearing was on Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the Tokyo District Court declined to comment on the case.

After Apple’s victories in Australia, The Hague and Germany, Samsung might need to rethink its legal strategy.