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Samsung Tablet Ban Lifted For Most of EU 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the buy-while-you-can dept.
jkcity writes "The ban on sales of Samsung's 10.1 tablet in the EU has been lifted everywhere except Germany. The new ruling is in effect until August 25th while it is decided whether the original court had the power to enforce an EU wide ban. With allegations that submitted evidence was not 100% accurate, the case could be bogged down in the court for years."
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Samsung Tablet Ban Lifted For Most of EU

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  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@NOsPam.spad.co.uk> on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:12AM (#37127244) Homepage

    So they accidentally resized the image of the 10.1 so that it looked identical to the iPad for a side-by-side comparison, it's a mistake anyone could have made on a key page of court-submitted legal documents...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:15AM (#37127260)

      Yes, of course. Since the point was to show how similar the two tablets are, what better way to demonstrate it than to resize them to the same aspect-ratio and remove all brand-logos and other stuff setting them apart. Apple is only trying to make help the court reach the correct and just decision. That is how userfriendly they are, always making it easier.

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      Sorry to kill your funny, but the court figured out it couldn't judge for the entire EU, just Germany - that's all.
    • Re:Honest Mistake (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @08:02AM (#37127950)
      So you're basically calling that judicial system incompetent since they don't look at, you know, the *actual products*? Something tells me that making this kind of a judgement that affects millions of dollars would require a little more scrutiny than looking at a thumbnail pic on a legal sheet. That or you don't know jack about the details of the case and what actually happened and are just slinging soundbites.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        For a usual computer user, it makes perfect sense to just try out the two products and arrive at a conclusion whether they are similar or not. Why do Judges rely on printed testimony? But if you think about what a Judge really is responsible for, paper makes more sense than actual devices:

        Let's look at an imperfect analogy: For a normal computer user, it makes perfect sense just to use a binary program --- it just works. But for a programmer or a systems administrator, having GPL and getting the source m

      • by Asic Eng (193332)

        In the German system a temporary injunction ("einstweilige Verfuegung") is relatively easy to get. There is not much checking of evidence, and there is relatively little chance for the opposing party to intervene before the decision is made. The focus is on speed. If it looks like the plaintiff is not merely wasting time, but genuinely believes they have a case - then the injunction will be granted.

        Nevertheless using a temporary injunction is risky, because it automatically makes the requesting party (Ap

      • Since you still don't understand that this is a preliminary injunction, valid until a real hearing can proceed, you don't even come close to judge any judicial system.
    • Image on page 39 shows both side by side in their packaging - yeah, they look nothing like each other - like two eggs from a basket.
      • by Solandri (704621)
        Actually, many of the images in the court filing [scribd.com] are deceptive if not outright photoshopped.

        The Galaxy Tab on page 35 has obviously been squashed in its long dimension, to give it a more iPad-like appearance. The iPad to its left "for comparison" is shown at a more acute angle, making it appear slimmer.

        The pic of the rear of the iPad on page 36 (lower left) it looks awfully long for an iPad. Measuring its dimensions in pixels gives you a height of 274 pixels, and a width of 196 to 223 (measured just
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You are seeing it incorrectly.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    this is the kind off behavior that makes me really hate apple i haven't bought an apple product since the patent trolling began, just leave android alone OK?

    • Re:grrr (Score:4, Informative)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:35AM (#37127342) Homepage

      Yep. We're always being told how Apple is the best quality, best operating system and how they keep prices lower than everybody else by buying up massive amounts of chips for years in advance of production, etc.

      Now they're saying they can't compete in a fair marketplace?

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Who said anything about that? They are competing just fine, but they feel that Samsung has infringed on their design, and they have the right to be able to sue over that perceived infringement (whether they are technically correct or not, it is in their own power to bring the suit).

        This is no different to a content producer coming out with a cartoon mouse called "Ricky" and giving him hemispherical black ears and a pet dog called "Gluto". If Disney sues you over this, does that suddenly mean "they can't com

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Who said anything about that?

          Anyone with half a brain, they are perusing temporary injunctions and bans rather then suing Samsung directly.

          They are competing just fine, but they feel that Samsung has infringed on their design,

          Feelings cant be argued in this case. Apple need evidence and when that evidence didn't exist, they made some up.

          Samsung is so confident of their chances, they've slated the Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch in Australia on 1 September, the case to decide the injunction is on 29 August.

          This is no different to a content producer coming out with a cartoon mouse called "Ricky" and giving him hemispherical black ears and a pet dog called "Gluto".

          Actually it's completely different as Samsung haven't violated any copyrights, which is what you're referring to.

          Apple h

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            Suddenly the case is all about the one distorted photo (in pages and pages of documents), rather than the physical examination of the products by a judge - it's not like they showed that one image and said "look! see!" - they may be litigious, but they are not stupid.

      • No one is saying that. This is a boxing match, all parties are exchanging blows and we're only in the second round. So why does everyone start crying foul whenever one of the Android camp takes one on the nose ? Why gloating when Samsung asks to block the sale of iPads and iPhones [v3.co.uk] but outrage when Apple retaliates ?

        • by plankrwf (929870)

          I am guessing it is because the first one swinging its fists was the fruit company.
          It is like the playing ground at school were everyone is having fun till someone starts throwing punches.
          When one of the bullies get one back, the others will sniccer (allthough in reality, in the schoolyard the kids will remain silent
          being still afraid of the bully. Here is one situation in which 'internet anonimisity' actually improves the behaviour).

          Kind regards,
          Roel

          • I think it's unfair to pin this on Apple, everyone is suing everyone else [flowingdata.com] because all major players realize this is a large part of the future of computing and they need to be contenders. I'm not saying Apple won't pull some dirty tricks, but they very painfully learned back in the early 90's when similar lawsuits were exploding around GUI based systems that being the runner up doesn't pay (they almost went out of business following their unsuccessful battle with Microsoft.) But then again, the other compan

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Yep. We're always being told how Apple is the best quality, best operating system and how they keep prices lower than everybody else by buying up massive amounts of chips for years in advance of production, etc.

        But Apple's falsified evidence is the best quality of falsified evidence and they've been falsifying it years in advance of actual lawsuits

        Now they're saying they can't compete in a fair marketplace?

        This has always been the case.

  • by DMoylan (65079) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:18AM (#37127266)

    so good apple tried to ban it!

    you can't buy advertising that good!

    disclaimer-very happy with the 7" tab

    • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @06:06AM (#37127492)

      Apple is actually seeking a ban on all of the Galaxy products, including the original tab and the Galaxy S2 smartphone, in The Netherlands.
      This is not just a ban from Samsung importing them. It's a ban on retailers to sell them (i.e. they need to recall them) and distributors distributing them (to other countries). So that 'good advertising' would only last for as long as they're still allowed to sell it - which might be until mid October if they're unlucky.

      In addition Apple demand that in Samsung's recall notice to distributors and retailers, they make note that the product infringes on Apple IP.

      It seems very much a "Let's demand the ridiculous - any toning down by the judge will then fall in our favor" type move, but I'm sure they're actually quite serious.
      Source: http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/107630/apple--gehele-galaxy-lijn-moet-uit-de-schappen.html [webwereld.nl]

      Apple isn't scoring any brownie points with these demands, that's for sure. One major online news site's (nu.nl) comments are replete with negative comments toward Apple, even from avid Apple fans, and they're not doing much better over at the #1 tech news site for NL/BE (tweakers.net).

      Not that I think it'll impact Apple's bottom line in any way. ha.

      I have no doubt that they would extend this to the EU.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        >Not that I think it'll impact Apple's bottom line in any way. ha.

        Half of Apple's income is from the iPhone. The Galaxy S phone is arguably cutting into the iPhone marketshare, as its one of the better Android phones out there and is a little cheaper and can be had on multiple carriers. I have a Vibrant on T-mobile and its a really neat piece of technology, so I can see why Apple is afraid of it.

        Apple's take, imho, is that they'red damned if they don't do a patent attack and damned if they do, so why not

    • iPad and iPhone : so good Samsung tried to ban them [v3.co.uk] in order to be able to get a foothold in the market. See how that knife cuts both ways ?

      • You do know that that was in response to what Apple did, right?

        • You do know that that was in response to what Apple did, right?

          That's like arguing who threw the first punch in a boxing match. All companies in mobile computing are slugging it out for hundreds of millions in profits per year, no one will be pulling any punches on this one.

          • Except the order does matter here, as Samsung wasn't trying to block iDevices "because they were so good that's the only way they could compete." They did it to show how immature Apple was being.

            • I disagree, to me it sounds like you are projecting your own feelings onto the matter. Corporations aren't concerned with showing one another how immature they are being. They did it because, to stay with my boxing metaphor, you keep jabbing until you find an opening to land a real punch.

  • Europe has treaties that allow any European to buy goods and services in any other country. So all the Germans have to do is buy through a webshop in another country..

    • Europe has treaties that allow any European to buy goods and services in any other country. So all the Germans have to do is buy through a webshop in another country..

      I doubt that covers the case where there is an injunction against the sale in one country. With 2 million Euros fine. So you can be sure that Samsung will do everything they can to prevent such sales.

      The other problem is of course whether anyone wants a tablet that isn't an iPad. HP seems to have 90% of their tablets still in stores with nobody wanting to buy them.

      • While HP Touchpad tablets stay on the shelves, Android tablets have captured 20% of the market share.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:55AM (#37127442)

          There are lots of reasons to *not* buy an iPad. The dubious recent behaviour of Apple is just one of them (and I speak as someone who only has Macs at home).

          For example, I bought an EeePad Transformer yesterday.

          I did not need to plug it into a computer capable of running the latest iTunes - I just turned it on and connected it to our wifi network and it updated itself. I did not need to sign up for an account and register my machine with Asus (or Google). I have a proper keyboard and USB ports. I can use a browser that is *not* based on WebKit if I want to (e.g. Opera).

          The HP Touchpad has other issues though - primarily that it's a terrible clone of an iPad with an OS nobody wants except for novelty value. I can't imagine why anyone would want a Blackberry Playbook for much the same reason.

          • Lol, and you pick Opera as a company you want to use because Apple went to the courts instead of trying to compete? ROFL. Such a short memory you have.

          • I have to disagree with you about the HP Touchpad. I've used all 3 operating systems, phones and tablets, and much much prefer WebOS to Android or IOS. The first gen hardware leaves something to be desired but on a phone or tablet WebOS kills the other two from a user (and developer from what I'm hearing) perspective.
      • by sjames (1099) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:48AM (#37127410) Homepage

        Actually, there are two entities involved, Samsung Germany and their parent company in Korea. The latest ruling is that the court probably only has jurisdiction over the subsidiary. So, if a German person buys one through a retailer that in turn buys from Samsung Korea, no order is violated.

      • If the tablet is bought from a retailer outside of the injunction area, no one can touch them, since the injunction covers SELLING, not buying. Mind you, this injunction covered all of EU except The Netherlands(IIRC), so the Germans would only have to shop from a Dutch webshop to go around it.

      • by caius112 (1385067)

        I doubt that covers the case where there is an injunction against the sale in one country.

        The current German court decision means that if you are a retailer, you can't sell the Samsung tablet in Germany. It does not limit the free circulation of goods inside the EU, so you can very well buy it from France or Italy or Austria and have it shipped to your German address.

        This freedom is one of the key principles of the European Union.

        • ...if you find a company who's willing to take the risk of doing that.

          • by caius112 (1385067)
            It's not a risk. You can't get sued for it. For example, video games are heavily censored in Germany, so everyone just imports them. Zero risk involved.
      • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @06:17AM (#37127544)

        Funny thing: One of Germany biggest retailers just started selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab. They argue that the injunction is only against Samsung.

    • Where did you get that idea from? Free trade of goods and services is only good if it's to the benefit of the corporations, not the customer!

      Anyone who has not figured out by now that the sole purpose of the EU is to strengthen the economy and screw the population?

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        "In Soviet Russia, the government controls the commerce."

        among the most important reasons why I thought that it was a good idea for Finland to join EU was that we could then get more free trade, which we did. basically that's buying stuff from europe without paying excessive customs, we pay still a fair deal of customs/tax on imported used cars but not nearly as much as we did before.

        but the IP rights used in this case are ridiculous - the lawyers involved are _highly_ paid so what the fuck can't they do an

    • by Nerzhul (1969786)

      This is not true. Laws differ throughout the EU. A good may be legal in one country but not in another. For example you're allowed to buy marihuana in the Netherlands, but not in Germany.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:58AM (#37127458)

    The following article [osnews.com] has some very interesting information about Community Designs, which were used for getting the original injunction.

    Community designs are basically unreviewed sketches of products which can be used to silently get an injunction for your competitors product.
    No checks are done for obviousness, nor for prior art.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's just a Design Patent, or a Registered Design to our UK readers. You can get exactly the same kind of registration, in the same way, at the USPTO.

      Regardless the article is factually incorrect on several points, not least is assertion that Apple somehow got an automatic injunction for showing up with the paperwork. The injunction was granted on an inspection of the actual devices by the court, which evaluated whether the design was likely to have been infringed.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      In fact they hold the same sort of registration at the USPTO:

      http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/10/apples-patented-the-tablet-mac/ [engadget.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Rectangular, rounded corners... wait a minute!

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/LifeDrive.jpg

    Let's go, HP!

  • Disgusting (Score:1, Troll)

    by Yamioni (2424602)

    [...] the case could be bogged down in the count for years.

    Well, I guess that's better than being down on the Count for years. I hear his dick tastes like cocoa puffs.

  • Apple doesn't care if it wins or looses, they know they could wait out any competitor legally in this situation so the BEST result apple wants is a long drawn out legal battle where it's on again off again ruled that the competing product is either not sold or sold in too short of a supply.
    They are doing this because they know that left alone the galaxy tab will eat alive their cash cow that has at the 'least' a 100% market up of what it's actually worth with a lower price and better features while not bein

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