updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Dutch to rule on Galaxy Tab ban in one month
A Netherlands court on Thursday set a deadline for deciding whether it too would agree to Apple's request for a European ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and other products. The judge expected a final decision on September 15 and, if a preliminary injunction was felt necessary, would enforce it from October 13 onwards. All other EU member states are already prohibited from selling the Android tablet until a decision in the resulting trial or a settlement.
A series of live updates from the courtroom by Webwereld's Andreas Udo de Haes also provided insights as to the arguments both sides used to make their initial cases. Samsung argued that Apple's design patents were vague and that the design description for the iPad was so generic that every digital photo frame violated the related patent. Apple just wanted to shut down anything that was thin, it said, sidestepping its own admission that it reshaped the Galaxy Tab specifically to outperform the iPad.
Apple, meanwhile, conducted an online study that it claimed showed 80 percent finding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to look like or at least "similar in general impression." Customers were "confused and angry" when the Galaxy S first arrived last year, too, as it was copying the iPhone.
The Dutch judge appeared primarily suspicious of Apple's claims, questioning the methods of getting the online study. Samsung itself took issue and contended that Apple was trying to have it both ways by trying to argue both based on general looks but also focusing on very specific design traits. For touchscreen smartphones and tablets, form had to follow function, it said.
Apple's decision to contest Samsung's sales even in one smaller country shows a determination to shut down as many sales as possible. While the sales impact of a Netherlands block is likely to be minimal given the wider European ban, it's likely to be used as a further bargaining chip to make Samsung agree to a settlement before its own countering lawsuits can work. [via Engadget]