Apple wins injunction against Samsung Galaxy Tab

June 27, 2012

Apple won an injunction against Samsung’s 10-inch Galaxy Tab in a California federal court Tuesday after a judge ruled that Apple had made a “strong” claim that the Samsung tablet had improperly copied the design of the iPad.

“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her decision, according to the Associated Press.

Samsung told the news service that it does not expect the ruling to “have a significant impact on our business operations,” because it has other Galaxy tablets. The company has filed an appeal.

The 10-inch tablet and the iPad have strikingly similar designs, with nearly identical screen sizes and slim profiles. At an earlier court hearing, Koh called the tablets “virtually indistinguishable.”

The case is part of a much larger patent battle between Apple and Samsung over similarities between their smartphones and tablets. A lot is at stake for the tech companies, the two largest smartphone manufacturers in the world.

With the launch of the Galaxy S III, Samsung has shown a laser-like focus in competing with the iPhone, offering a slim phone with a larger screen than Apple’s hugely popular product that also features a voice-controlled system not unlike the Siri voice assistant in the iPhone 4S.

PC World reported Wednesday that Apple has been awarded 27 new patents related to smartphone and tablet technology that cover how customers use and navigate touch-screen devices.

The blog Patently Apple takes a close look at the patents, which include an inductive charging dock and a light-sensitive display. Apple watchers have always looked to patents to predict what the company might be researching — even if the research never materializes into a marketable product. Now those patent awards might also offer a clue as to what might pop up in future court cases — if competitors try to emulate Apple’s research.

As for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, stores will be able to sell their current stock, Fortune reported. The decision has no bearing on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II, which the report noted was designed to circumvent a patent-related ban in Germany.

Related stories:

Review: Samsung Galaxy S III

Secretive Samsung denies plans for Facebook-like service

Samsung Galaxy S III: Review roundup

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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