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The injunction against sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the E.U. has been lifted, at least for now, with the exception of Germany. It has been ruled that the original German court does not have the power to issue an injunction against sales of the device outside of Germany.
The original injunction did not apply to The Netherlands. A decision for the Dutch market will be made in mid-September. Apple has sued separately in the Netherlands.
At the same time, questions about whether some of the comparative Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and iPad 2 images that Apple’s legal team presented to the court were altered to artificially make the devices more similar in appearance. One image, taken from page 28 of a filing made by Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer, Apple’s European lawyers, shows the devices side-by-side (above), looking very similar, including identical sizes.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t even have the same screen aspect ratio as the iPad. The iPad has an aspect ratio of 4:3, and the Galaxy Tab has a 16:10 aspect ratio. Despite this, looking at the images, the aspect ratios look identical.
In addition, based on the images, you would think the tablets are identical in size. In fact, the iPad 2’s dimensions are:
- Height: 9.50 inches
- Width: 7.31 inches
- Depth: 0.34 inch
- Weight: 1.33 pounds
While the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s dimensions are:
- Height: 9.69
- Width: 6.71
- Depth: 0.43
- Weight: 1.32 pounds
Is it an honest mistake. Arnout Groen, a lawyer with the Dutch firm Klos Morel Vos & Schaap, specializing in intellectual property rights litigation, has some doubts. “This is a blunder. That such a ‘mistake’ is made in a case about design rights can scarcely be a coincidence. … The aspect ratio of the alleged Galaxy Tab is clearly distorted to match the iPad more closely. Inasmuch as this faux pas will have consequences for the case is of course up to the judge. But at least a reprimand by the German judge seems to be in order.”
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents says believes there is a good chance that this temporary suspension will result in a “partial” reversal of the preliminary injunction decision at a hearing to be held next week, on August 25.
He added that if it is found that the Dusseldorf court didn’t have jurisdiction over Samsung, a Korean company, it would “reinforce a lot of people’s impression that Apple’s enforcement of design-related rights is, even though understandable to a certain degree, overreaching in some areas.”