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Samsung Appeals Galaxy Tab Blockade

After German loss,
Samsung countersues Apple;
Global patent war

Samsung has appealed a ruling by a German court that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer infringes Apple’s patent rights in the iPad.

The German judge had stated earlier this month that there was a “clear impression of similarity” between the iPad and the Galaxy, citing the “minimalist, modern form” of the competing products and their flat screens and rounded edges. She blocked sales of the Samsung product line in Germany – but not in other countries, despite a previous judgment that the ban should apply to all of Europe. The ruling also forced Samsung to withdraw its new Galaxy Tab 7.7 from a major Berlin electronics fair.

Taipei technoblogger Sascha Pallenberg, commenting on the German court’s decision, said, “The judge basically said that only Apple is allowed to sell thin square tablets with round edges. That’s just insane.”

Although iPad sales are up 183% for the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010, Apple contends that its numbers would be even higher if not for competition from the Galaxy Tab, with its “functionality and appearance” similar to the iPad.

The two companies are fighting IP battles in the US, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

In July, Apple asked the US International Trade Commission to block imports into the US of certain Samsung tablet computers and smartphones.

Samsung has filed a cross claim in Australia, alleging that Apple’s iPad and iPhone infringe seven Samsung patents related to wireless communications standards. Samsung also asserts that the patents Apple relied on in its claims against Samsung are invalid.

Samsung is already gearing up to challenge Apple’s iPhone 5, expected to be announced in October. According to the Korea Times, as soon as the iPhone 5 arrives in Korea, Samsung intends to sue Apple for violating Samsung’s wireless technology-related patents and hopes to obtain an injunction to prevent sales of the device in Korea.

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