Apple takes on Samsung


Jens Künzel

Germany, like many other jurisdictions, is currently a forum for a courtroom battle of almost epic proportions between two of the world’s biggest computer and mobile phone companies: Apple and Samsung.

While the patents of both companies dominate many proceedings in Düsseldorf and Mannheim, one of Apple’s community designs took centre stage in two preliminary injunction proceedings before the Düsseldorf District Court and the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal. The first case concerned Samsung’s tablet computer, ‘Galaxy Tab 10.1’, and the second one concerned Samsung’s successor tablet model, ‘Galaxy Tab 10.2’.

In the first proceedings, Apple asserted claims based on the community design and on unfair competition for passing off of Apple’s well-known iPad tablet computer. The Düsseldorf District Court had granted a preliminary injunction against Samsung South Korea and a German subsidiary of Samsung based on the community design, which contained a restraining order concerning the marketing and selling of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 within the European Union.

Samsung filed an opposition. The preliminary injunction was upheld by the Düsseldorf court, except for the restraining order against Samsung South Korea, which was limited to actions committed in Germany (for lack of judicial competence). The appeal filed by Samsung was decided by the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal with a judgment handed down on January 31, 2012.

Germany, Apple, Samsung, jurisdiction