Apple Inc has secured a Europe wide injunction against South
Korean technology manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. which will
prevent the sale of Samsungs "Galaxy Tab 10.1" tablet
computer. A District Court in Dusseldorf granted the temporary
injunction against Samsung for infringement of Apple's
intellectual property rights in the industrial design of its iPad
Apple has a registered Community Design Right, in the design of
the iPad tablet under the European Communities (Community Designs)
Regulations 2003. The right is restricted to the outward appearance
of the device as opposed to the inward technology designs, which
are protected by an extensive network of patents. There is a
significant volume of worldwide patent litigation currently ongoing
between all of the major mobile telecommunications manufacturers
surrounding these and similar technology patents.
Apple's application was for enforcement of its European
Community Design rights and therefore this injunction can be
enforced on a Europe wide basis, including in Ireland but excluding
the Netherlands where Apple has undertaken a separate enforcement
application. Eversheds has offices throughout Europe and regularly
advises clients on similar Europe-wide enforcement mechanisms.
It should be noted that the decision of the German District
Court was based on an ex-parte application only. Samsung did not
appear and so no counter argument was heard. Samsung immediately
indicated that they would be opposing the decision and indeed
recent reports suggest that they have issued a strongly worded
response this afternoon. The industrial design procedure is unlike
some other intellectual property registration procedures in that
there is no examination as to the designer's right of
registration and no opposition procedure at the time of
registration. It can be expected that any appeal by Samsung will
involve an argument that Apple's iPad design lacks sufficient
novelty or individual character to qualify for protection under the
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a member firm of the Eversheds International network of firms
affiliated with Eversheds International Limited, an English company
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