Samsung has been told that it has to withdraw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Europe, including the UK, just days after the new Android tablet went on sale. It was given the order by a German court, but applies to entire European Union.
"We can not comment on the matter," a senior exec at Samsung told Pocket-lint.
According to UK newspaper The Telegraph:
"The Regional Court of Dusseldorf has granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the sale and marketing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 across all of Europe except the Netherlands. It is possible to apply for a pan-European injunction in any country which, if upheld, covers all of the EU. The judge backed Apple’s claim that Samsung’s tablet infringed on its patents and copied elements of the iPad 2."
The news is likely to be a massive blow to Samsung and the Android cause, as it is widely considered to be the new flagship device to go head-to-head with Apple's popular iPad. Indeed, we're big fans of the device here on Pocket-lint.
Florian Mueller, an award-winning intellectual property activist-turned-analyst, told Pocket-lint that the German ruling could be damaging to Samsung's trading in Britain and Northern Ireland: "It will definitely affect the UK," he said.
The spat between the two companies has been raging for months, with both companies fighting each other in courtsaround the world with each claiming that their designs are the original.
"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," Apple has told Pocket-lint in a statement.
UPDATE: Samsung has issued the following statement:
"Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision and we intend 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.
"The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.
"We 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."
What do you think? Is this a disaster for Samsung? Should a German court have power over the UK? Let us know in the comments below...