Legal Technicality Helps Samsung Win Round One of its War with Apple
The war between Apple and Samsung is certainly proving to be an interesting one. The battle is being waged because Apple seems to believe that Samsung has copied parts of its design in the creation of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Apple was able to get a quick court ruling earlier this month that garnered them an injunction preventing sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the EU. The injunction was fairly surprising, especially given that virtually every tablet looks alike and that Apple’s argument is based solely on the look of the Galaxy Tab rather than infringement on patents and copyrights.
Samsung quickly filed an appeal to this injunction, putting forth an emergency complaint arguing that the German court system far overstepped their boundaries by banning sales of the device throughout the EU. The judge overseeing the case agreed, which means that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will more than likely go on sale throughout the EU in the near future with the exception of the German market. A hearing is scheduled on the issue in the upcoming days, and most believe that Samsung will again emerge the victor, gaining at least a partial reversal of the injunction.
The battle certainly raises a number of questions about the amount of power one country gets in making decisions for the entire European Union. But there are more reasons than just this for Apple to be concerned about the most likely outcome of the situation. Another issue that was revealed during this trial is one that could hinder Apple’s case in a major way. The visual evidence that Apple submitted in order to show the resemblance between the two devices was found to have been doctored to make the similarities even closer- a legal misstep that may just cost Apple any credibility they had in the case.
What will come of the case remains to be seen, but the simple fact is that Apple now has two factors working against them. The first factor is a technicality- the fact that German courts do not have the power or the right to ban sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the European Union. But the second factor, the manipulation of evidence to make a stronger case for design infringement, is one that may well cost Apple dearly. It’s understandable to want to take out major competitors, but in a market where all tablet devices are inherently similar, manipulation of the evidence to make the designs even more similar is certain to prove detrimental to the case.
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